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Restaurants & Bars 5

Review of FIG Restaurant

vinosnob | Jan 6, 201009:14 AM

Last month, a group of 7 of us (including my 2 yr old son) went to FIG for an early supper.

We sat in the front room along the wall so I didn't get a chance to see the rest of the restaurant. Nice enough decor with an enticing bar area.

I'm always leery of "hotel" restaurants; Fig is part of the Fairmont Santa Monica. Many are usually overpriced with mediocre food at best.

Fortunately, FIG was an exception and our dinner proved to be excellent.

To start, 4 of us split two orders of the moules frites. Presented in a medium sized cast iron pot with a side pocket for the buttered baguette, these were incredible! The Carlsbad mussels were plump, juicy and tender. I stuffed myself sopping up the delicious broth primarily composed of chablis and fennel/tarragon.

As for the frites? Easily some of the best fries I've had lately. FIG's frites are thin with a perfectly crisp exterior while the interior is soft. Just the right amount of salt.

For mains, most of the table ordered the steak frites; yes, more frites!! The steak, an 8 ounce "bavette" cut (I think bavette is a flap steak) arrived medium rare as ordered. Very flavorful and tender; my only complaint was it was the heavy handed use of salt.

For my entree, I ordered the roasted branzino. The entire fish (sans eyes) is served and stuffed with a Mediterranean melange of fennel, olives, capers, leeks and tomatoes. I tore it up including every morsel of the succulent cheeks!

For dessert, we ordered the meyer lemon curd and the memorable chocolate pot au creme.

I neglected to bring my own wine (argh!) so we had to order off of the pricey wine list. There's a pinot noir from Oregon (Williamette Valley) that is under $50 and is food friendly and quite good if you appreciate a more restrained style of pinot.

Service was attentive, the food excellent and priced quite fairly.

Overall, I was very impressed with FIG and would go gladly go back again.

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