If you needed proof that the traditional French gastronomic ethic is unenthusiastic about vegetarianism, I give you exhibit A.
If we felt we'd drifted into an unstated conflict, we were soon mollified by dessert: to wit, profiteroles ($5.95), in fact the best profiteroles in recent memory. There was nothing too out of the ordinary about the flavors; the pastry balls were stuffed with vanilla ice cream and sauced with chocolate and caramel. But the pastry! Sublimely flaky. Profiteroles are too often tough and rubbery, like old racquetballs, but Le P'tit Laurent's were yieldingly delicate, bits of buttery finery that surrendered themselves and were soon gone but not forgotten. They were so not forgotten, in fact, that we ordered them a second time a few evenings later, and while I was tempted to cap things off with a snifter of Armagnac, I felt no need in the end. (To paraphrase the endlessly paraphrasable Homer Simpson: my gastronomic rapacity did know satiety.)
As for Glen Park well, these days I hardly know ye. When Chenery Park opened just a few doors up in 2000, it was a lonely outpost of upscaleness in a Sleepy Hollow sort of urban enclave that seemed little changed since the 1950s. But these first years of the new millennium have brought all sorts of newness, from the cool pizza place across the street (Gialina) to the gorgeous Canyon Market (viewable through Le P'tit Laurent's windows as part of the faux11th arrondissement display) to, finally, a retro-chic Parisian bistro that serves quite good food at reasonable prices and is, accordingly, packing them in. The case for cassoulet has been made.
LE P'TIT LAURENT
Brunch: Sat.Sun., 9 a.m.2 p.m. Dinner: daily, 5:3010:30 p.m.
699 Chenery, SF