There was a time when French brasseries were as rare south of the river as TV executives. Le Bouchon was in the vanguard, and has turned over healthy profits from steak frites ever since, mostly due to intelligent repeat marketing (the staff kiss you if you're a regular) and 'real' French touches like bar football and mineral water that's not Perrier. The bar heaves most nights; at weekends you need a certificate to prove you're not claustrophobic. Look out for men wearing suit trousers and ties stuffed in their back pockets. Despite substantial bar snacks, don't expect to avoid a hangover.
Le Bouchon, 38 Queenstown Rd SW8 (071-622 2618).
Tomorrow: The Lamb & Flag, Rose St WC2.