It became clear that Melrose Place had indeed arrived when Fig & Olive founder Laurent Halasz chose the neighborhood as the site of his restaurant’s West Coast flagship location in 2011, as the eatery was a staple of New York’s trendy Meat Packing district. Fun fact: President Barack Obama rented out the entire restaurant for a fundraiser two years ago.
The Fig & Olive’s bright, modern, airy décor reflects its simple Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Start with informal appetizers of imported charcuterie, cheese, olives and marinated seasonal vegetables at Executive Chef Pascal Lorange’s communal table and tasting bar. The restaurant has a sizeable selection of beers and wines to choose from, but if you’re looking for something a little stiffer, as gin lovers, we have to recommend the Summer in Provence. It’s a combination of the restaurant’s house gin with rosemary thyme syrup, blackberries and fresh limejuice.
For dinner, try the porcini and Gorgonzola jamon iberico ravioli or the lemon sole papillote. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic roasted chicken.
Fig & Olive is open for lunch from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and brunch Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. It is open for dinner Monday from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. The bar and lounge is open from 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Go ahead and valet, because metered street parking is limited. Call 310-360-9100 for reservations. You can also book online through www.opentable.com
If the Fig & Olive doesn’t suit your taste, the much-anticipated Russian eatery Mari Vanna finally opened to the public this week in the former Bastide space. The shabby-chic décor makes you feel like you’re having tea at your grandmother’s house. But, unlike your grandmother, Mari Vanna has more than 70 flavors of vodka (including one infused with horseradish) in-house.
With a slight buzz, full bellies, and shopping bags in hand, the time has come to head home. But this day on Melrose Place won’t soon be forgotten.