Pretty good Italian/French on Melrose Place. (Yes, you read that right…Melrose Place.)
According to them, a passion for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine from the Rivera and Coastal Regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain is what drives the menu at Fig & Olive.
I’m sorry, but I get suspicious when someone says that. I’m sorry, it reminds me of a TV ad, where an empty phrase is supposed to drive your romantic passions all the way to West Hollywood so you’ll give them some money.
Fortunately, the restaurant doesn’t need empty phrases to get you to give them money. It’s a spectacular restaurant. It’s powered by both some…well…good food, and a really nice bar. You will like what you have here. You will enjoy your time at Fig & Olive, despite the fact that it’s a National Chain. (Sorry, locations in New York as well as L.A.? You’re a National Chain).
I think it’s a little overpriced for what you’re getting, but you’re definitely doing better by going here than going to a place like Trattoria Amici or (God forbid) the Olive Garden. But you’ll be paying the difference.
You’ll also be looking at some spectacular scenery…and I don’t mean the furnishings. No, the ladies who came to dinner the night I visited, were there to be noticed, no matter who the man was on their arm. Lotsa short skirts, uber-high heels, and shapely bodies. As a guy, I’m hardly complaining. In fact, you can probably add another star to this review on that basis alone. Still, if you’re looking for a good low key meal among friends with some really, really, really good food, I’d probably hit Osteria Mamma before this place. It’s more my speed.
And as nice as Fig & Olive was, there were a couple of weird things that happened during my visit there. For one, while I was treated well by the Waitstaff, Bartenders and Manager (all of whom I interacted with during my visit there)…
…wait, what I am saying “well” for? I was treated outstandingly by the staff at the Restaurant. I have never gotten this level of care and attention from a staff at a Restaurant. I definitely wasn’t the highest paying customer to ever walk through those doors. Yet, there they were, working their tails off for me, to make sure I had a good time.
The Principal Hostess at the front door on the other hand? Not so much.
It’s not like she was outright rude or demeaning or anything, but I definitely caught a whiff of “What are you doing here?”
Seriously, snappy and cold is no way to go through life.
Also, in a minor glitch, especially for a restaurant this nice, the Bar gave me the wrong wine list. And I say Bar, like they had something to do with it. Someone gave them the wrong wine list to hand out the night I was there. I know it’s the wrong wine list because the one glass I was after wasn’t available…yet. It was a small glitch. It was a minor glitch. I didn’t affect the time I wound up having there at all…and yet, I wind up writing about it anyway.
Bottom line: Great Bar, Good Restaurant, very pricey.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, I went for their Prix-Fixe Menu, which gave me a Appetizer, a Main Course and a Dessert for a nice $35 price. For me, that meant the Provencal Carrot and Thyme Soup appetizer. It was really good. I came in expecting a little, slight clear broth, but that’s not what I got. It a frothy, tasty concoction, with a bit of a nouveau-cuisine presentation. Remember this is a brew of Carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, crushed tomato, heirloom baby carrot, and olive oil crouton. That little bit of crunch from the crouton is what I remember the most. I still want it all these days later.
I followed that up with Pumpkin Sage Ravioli. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was in a mood for something heavier, soothing meatier. But I got the Ravioli instead. I didn’t love it as much as the soup, but it was really good nonetheless. The Pumpkin was sweet and delicate, not overpowering. The dish has free range chicken in it, as well as ricotta and charmoula, pumpkin olive oil emulsion, toasted pumpkin seeds, as well as parmesan and aged balsamic Frantoio Olive Oil. I tasted more pumpkin than chicken, more sweet than savory, but it was a nice, nice meal.
Finally, came the Chocolate Pot de Creme. It looks like a little cup of cappuccino when it arrives at your table. But you dig in, and that’s not coffee your diving into with your spoon, it’s rich, thick, velvety chocolate. At this point, you’ve taken in all these calories, what’s a few more going to hurt?
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The Waitstaff and the Manager…are exceptional. Exceptional. Hands down. You will be taken care of very well.
PARKING: Well…sketchy. This is Melrose Place. What isn’t dramatic on Melrose Place?
Yes, there is actually a Melrose Place in Los Angeles. It’s right off N. La Cienega.
Literally, it’s the first place right there on the corner of Melrose Place and N. La Cienega. That being said, good luck finding Street Parking. This restaurant is powered by it’s Valet Service, which will run you about $8 bucks. Now, you can park along N. La Cienega. There may (stress: may) be a spot or two along the street, but it’s a hairy trip across a very busy street in the middle of Beverly Hills with a lot of people in fancy cars determined to get where they’re going. Well…maybe they’ll stop for you. My experience? They won’t.
Fig & Olive (Melrose Place)
8490 Melrose Place
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel: (310) 360-9100
Monday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 12:00pm – 10:30pm
Friday-Saturday: 12:00pm – 1:00am
Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm