Thursday, April 12, 2012
Whenever I travel I make it a point to research on which restaurants to try. However I don't bother doing this whenever I go to Los Angeles because I implicitly trust the taste of my cousin-in-law, Mary who's a foodie too. She knows all the best places to eat at in L.A.
I've never heard of Fig & Olive before. Mary told me that's it's very popular in New York and the branch at Melrose Place was the first one outside NYC.
The cuisine is based on the food from the French Riviera and coastal regions of the Mediterranean by Executive Chef Pascal Lorange.
I love the gorgeous interiors.
The view from the 2nd floor where we sat.
I really liked the open set-up of the mixed use restroom. The male and female cubicles were behind individual doors opposite this long sink counter.
I wish the restaurant had a tad better lighting. It was so difficult to get good shots since it was so dark. I'm not too happy with the pictures. I was ecstatic about the food though.
I don't remember what the olive oils were called but I remember our waiter describing them as grassy, banana and fruity. I tried each olive oil and to my amazement one really tasted grassy which was a bit strange to my palate. The banana flavored olive oil wasn't my favorite either. I liked the fruity olive oil the best.
3 kinds of olive oil
Sid and Mary brought their own wine.
We shared a plate of assorted crostinis.
3 kinds of crostini - 6 pcs for $19
All the crostinis were excellent but my favorite was the manchego, fig and macrona almond since separately those 3 ingredients are among my most loved food and together they were just perfect. Sweet, salty and crunchy.
mushroom, tuffle artichoke, parmesan
prosciutto, ricotta, fig, olive, walnut
manchego, fig, marcona almond
fig gorgonzola tartlet $15
Warm gorgonzola, prosciutto, fig, walnut arugula, scallion, tomato on a fine puff pastry
Again the flavors on this appetizer were just exquisite. All the ingredients complemented each other and the warm flaky puff pastry was just the perfect vessel.
For my main course I chose the Fig & Olive salad. It had nothing to do with my diet but I wasn't very hungry and wanted something lighter although I was very tempted with the Côte D' Azur bouillabaisse.
Fig & Olive salad $16
Romaine hearts, mesclun, fig, apple, manchego, dolce gorgonzola, tomato, walnut olive, scallion, 18 year old fig balsamic - Arbequina Olive Oil
OMG this was the best salad I've ever eaten in my life!!! You know many restaurants say they use only the best ingredients, this is the first time I tasted and appreciated what the best really meant.
The flavor of the olive oil was so bright and really brought out the flavor of each ingredient. Even the olives which I don't normally like was delicious. The presence of 18 year old fig balsamic vinegar added just the slightest tang to my perfect salad. It was so dark I couldn't really see what I was eating. Imagine my delight when I would bite into salty gorgonzola cheese with some sweet figs and tomatoes. The next forkful would bring a chunk of manchego cheese, olives and apples. This was so worth each and every dollar. Maybe more.
My nephews may be young but they are budding gourmands. They had the penne with mushroom and while truffle oil. Even without any traditional 'sauce' the pasta was rich, creamy and earthy.
penne funghi tartufo with grilled chicken $26
cremini and black trumpet mushroom, parmesan, parsley, scallion - White Truffle Olive Oil
I wasn't able to try the ravioli since my full concentration was on my wonderful salad. I'm sure this was excellent too since I was the empty plate later on.
pumpkin sage ravioli $25
House made sage ravioli with orgnic chicken, ricotta and charmoula, pumpkin olive oil emulsion roasted pumpkin seeds, parmesan cheese and aged balsamic - Frantoio Olive Oil
I love all my cousins. They all follow the motto "dessert is as important as the main meal." The apple tart tasted as good as it looked.
caramelized apple tart $9
crisp puff pastry with caramelized apples, vanilla ice cream
I love marzipan and I seldom see it in desserts. The cake had a wonderful texture and it was chewy and had a lovely orange flavor.
marzipan cake $9
olive oil gelato, candied orange olive oil & toasted almonds
The olive oil gelato was certainly unique. It was a bit salty so it was a good contrast to the sweet cake. The pastry chef knew the importance of textures and it came in the form of candied orange olive oil and toasted almonds. This is my kind of dessert - creamy, chewy, soft, cold, crunchy.
Homemade fancy 'Kit Kat' was served with the pot de creme. Was it for dipping? I'll never know since it was gone even before we ate the main dessert.
chocolate pot de creme $9
crunchy praline financiers & vanilla cream
The deep, dark, rich chocolate love was underneath the vanilla cream. I just loved the hint of orange in the chocolate.
Excellent choice again Mary!!! This was one of my most memorable meals on my trip last Nov/Dec 2011.
Fig & Olive
8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
telephone: (310) 360-9100
Mon - Sun:11:30 am-1:30 am