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The Foothill Dragon Press

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71 Palm: French American cuisine

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

In October of 1997, senior Sasha Poirier’s family opened their restaurant 71 Palm in downtown Ventura. It is the Poiriers’ only restaurant, and it is overseen by father and head chef, Didier Poirier. 

Chef Didier Poirier was born in France to a large family of 10 children, and right out of high school pursued his passion for cooking. Rather than attending college, he decided to travel and cook in many different restaurants earning respect in the field. He did attend some cooking classes, one in which he met his future wife.

Didier says his greatest achievement is “[his] job,” which is to “bring the French American food to Ventura.”

Sasha experienced French culture for herself when she traveled to France for two months with her brother in 2011. She said they were immersed in language and the culture,” which has left a lasting impact on her.

Living off pure French food really changed her perspective, and made her realize that American food is quite plain compared to the flavorful twist of French cuisine. They encountered a variety of dishes, and some were brought back to the restaurant.

Originally serving only authentic French cuisine, 71 Palm was not enough to captivate the people’s taste; so they decided to make their food,“more interesting, in an American way,” Sasha said.

This led to the addition of dishes such as ravioli and the Renee’s Sesame Chicken Breast Salad. Sasha describes these additions as, “something you wouldn’t necessarily find in France,” but they are popular among Ventura diners.

A popular entree which is common in France is their Kobe Burger, which you get with French fries and the option of a salad.

Foothill senior Claire Beck says 71 Palm is,“really family friendly,” and described the food as very home-style.

71 Palm never settles for anything less than the best, especially when it comes to their ingredients. In the front of the restaurant they planted a vegetable garden, in which they grow basil, rosemary, and tomatoes to serve in their food.


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They have daily specials and delicious desserts. Sasha recommends the crepes with Nutella, and is also a big fan of their crème brulee. And for the gluten-free diners, they have what’s said to be a delicious flourless chocolate cake.

Sasha works at the restaurant from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, and holidays if needed.

So if you’re in the neighborhood, swing on by and say bonjour.

Background Photo Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

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71 Palm: French American cuisine