Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FIG in Santa Monica: Quiet Spot for Meal and Drinks

FIG, a restaurant focusing in seasonal and local ingredients, has as its namesake the 100-yr old fig tree that sits in front of the Fairmont Miramar hotel (where the restaurant is located).I heard from LA&OC Foodie that FIG is on the Restaurant.com list- where you can buy a $25 gift certificates for $10 ($35 min purchase), and oftentimes they will have a 80% off sale! That's $25 for $2 people!! I bought 3 ...


Psst! Now til 6/25/09 they're having a 80% off sale! Just enter code: DISH.

We came late, past 9:00 PM. The restaurant was pretty quiet overall (except for a table of 4 drinking ladies that were quite ... lively), and I liked the decor and ambiance.
The menu is divided into Snacks, Salads, Appetizers, and Entrees. At the bottom of the menu is a nice touch - a list of currently in-season ingredients, and also what will be in season soon.

The bread at FIG is served warm, each in its own paper bag, and accompanied with arugula butter.
Never had arugula butter before, it was quite a nice touch.

Our first orders were from the Snacks section: Tarte Flambee (fromage blanc, blue cheese, lardon) - $6
This was nothing special, more like a mini, less-cheesy pizza.

Roasted Tomato Soup (mascarpone, basil) - $9
Pretty good and hearty, with a nice smokey flavor from the roasted tomatoes. Actually, this reminds me of the tomato soup at Nordstrom's cafe - when it's done right!

Young Beets with Santa Barbara Pistachios - $8
Very good and light and refreshing, but the portion is pretty small.

I thought the portions from the Snacks section were pretty small and doesn't seem to be really worth the price - especially in comparison to the other dishes I had later from the Appetizers section.

Although the next dish I had was called the Mushroom Fricassee ($12), it seems that the focus of the dish was in fact the sweetbreads.
Do share this dish with another person. The mushroom fricassee itself is a bit heavy and add on top of that the pieces of fried sweetbreads and it would make it hard for one person to finish this dish by itself. The mushroom fricassee was delish, the sweetbreads were decent but were a bit on the tough and dry side. They were not the best quality sweetbread, but then again this whole dish was only $12...

Warm Quinoa Salad (chard, butternut squash, toasted almonds) - $13
Delicious, and healthy too! It wasn't so much like a salad rather than a rice bowl - except that the quinoa instead of rice gave it that extra firm texture and a nice flavor. The toasted almonds were also a great addition.

Braised Tongue (tomatillo, breakfast radish) - $11
This was one of the rare occasions I enjoyed tongue in the US. Most tongues I've had in this country were tough, but this one was tender, just like how my family prepares it! The tomatillo sauce is a little spicy, but even I can still eat it so it's not too bad :P I really enjoyed this dish.

Both the braised tongue and quinoa salad made for a great lunch the next day too!

After all this food, and especially the spicy tongue at the end, I wanted something light for dessert, so I just ordered the sorbet. You get 3 scoops, and I just asked for 2 blood oranges and 1 pomegranate.
A bit denser and heavier than your usual "sorbet" but good nonetheless!

The bar at FIG boasts fresh seasonal ingredients and it's currently a great and quiet place to just sit, have a drink, and talk. And of course, eat. I want the restaurant to do well, but hopefully it won't get too crowded!!

Also, with the way we ordered, the $25 certificate didn't put as big a dent as I had hoped. Skip the snacks, just go with appetizers/ entrees and you'll do much better!

Read the reviews from LA&OC Foodie and Carolineoncrack!

FIG Restaurant
101 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 319-3111
www.figsm.com

FIG Restaurant on Urbanspoon

7 comments:

MyLastBite

I've been dying to try Fig. Thanks for the post!

Diana

Sounds like a cool place! Love that Nordstrom tomato basil soup too -- when it's done right! ;)

Melissa Good Taste

That place is so pretty!

Anonymous

im sure matthew told u but we were thiiiiiiiiis close to going to fig that night around that time!! $12 sweetbreads is pretty unheard of! that braised tongue really does sound delicious. I definitely want to try this place!!

samkimsamkim

hah I used my restaurant.com gift card there too! Someone got it for me...I have one more and I need to get rid of it... also enjoyed the quinoa/tomato soup, overall wasn't too bad! MUCHHH better than most of the seaside restaurants (sushi roku, ivy at shore, etc etc)

Eileen

I bought their $25 GC for $2 last month! Haven't tried it yet, but we will go soon!

Food, she thought.

Due to this review, Fig just made it onto my to do list!

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