From April until October, the sun stays out long enough to keep the patio at La Salamandre bright and balmy, so by the time the sun sets the outdoor tables are packed. Arrive a little early and you'll have time to enjoy both the weather and the sound of your own voice. La Salamandre is so French that it spells "Bistrot" with a T. It does classic and Californian-influenced French food to a T, too, both authentic and delicious. From the soupe à l'oignon and the poached foie gras to the magret de canard, everything is subtly flavored, impeccably cooked, and fussy to just the right degree. Best of all, you can dine in French style and in Californian comfort, since all the waiters sport French accents but drop the Gallic sneer.