May 25, 2010

Eat and Drink: Fraiche (Los Angeles)

Although I lived two blocks from Fraiche for a year, I never went. Why? Because with entrees hovering around $24 a pop, it seemed more like a special occasion restaurant than for everyday dining. Then there was Groupon with a $25 for $55 worth of food deal, and then my sister came to town. I know when opportunity hits me in the face with tasty discounted French food.

I arrived first and was seated inside. Fraiche has a lovely covered patio, but I was afraid there might be a lot of dogs. I saw my sister arrive, but she walked past the entrance twice before realizing she had to enter through the clear plastic curtain that covers the patio.

To start, we shared the beef tartare. The beef was beautiful and lightly dressed in a citrusy and peppery sauce. The arugula was a crisp contrast to the meat and bread. 

Beef tartare

After reading so much about the monkfish, their signature dish, I had to order it even though I typically do not enjoy fish dishes other than black cod. I took a risk on this dish because I had never had monkfish before and I also heard that it tastes like lobster.

The fish was served as three medallions over a bed of spinach and potatoes. To me, the dish looked like crusted chicken, but when I bit into it, I was met by a spongy, buttery, rich fish. Fraiche's monkfish was also a much heartier meal that most fish dishes out there. I wound up taking half of mine home with me.

Monkfish "Francaise" with
spinach, white wine, potato puree, shallots

I am not sure why we ordered dessert. I think it was my doing and I really wish we hadn't. This was by far the low note in our perfectly yummy dinner. I found our torta to be bland, and texturally, it reminded me of cheesecake. Overall, I found it boring.

Torta della Nonna with
fuji apples, pine nut streusel, mascarpone ice cream

Unfortunately, I will definitely not be visiting Fraiche again before my move east. There are less than 40 days left and so many new things to try still!

Fraiche Culver City
9411 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2616

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