Willie Jane: Bringing Southern California Comfort to Abbot Kinney

Swordfish, Fried Chicken, Black-eyed Peas

When considering restaurants on Abbot Kinney and the recent upshoot of many restaurants serving Southern cuisine around town, it’s only proper that the Venice hub would receive its own outpost. Govind Armstrong, of Post & Beam and before that, ROFL Café (I know) and 8 Oz Burger Bar, is as recognizable a chef’s name as any other in L.A. and adds himself as another well-regarded name on the Boulevard, the others being Joe Miller and Casey Lane. Continue reading

Fraîche Keeps Things Fresh in Santa Monica

Halibut, Paddlefish Roe, Cauliflower Caviar, Peas, Chanterelle

All photos by Kevin Eats

Japanese Scallops, Braised Pearl Onions, Lobster Glace, Lemon Oil, Orange

Never having been to the Culver City location, I had my first experience at Fraîche  just a couple months after mine at Riva – the restaurant that was formerly housed where Fraîche stands now. It would officially be my second meal with Jason Travi’s protogee Sydney Charles Hunter III at the helm. Of course, I didn’t expect to visit the locale so soon after my dinner with other gals at Riva; at the time I also didn’t know I was dining at a place that would soon close. The surprise, however, was welcome – Fraîche set out to impress the Food Digger crew and succeed they did. The meal was pretty much mind-blowing.

We started out with Japanese scallops with braised pearl onions, lobster glace, lemon oil and orange. A great little seafood taste in which the citrus flavors were the most potent. Combined with the sweet and sour braised pearl onion, it was the lightest take I’ve ever had on a scallop.

Foie Gras Terrine Layered with Prosciutto and Fig Purée, Orange Gelée, Campari Gastrique

I think the following was my favorite part of the dinner: foie gras terrine layered with prosciutto and fig pur̩e, orange gel̩e, Campari gastrique and arugula. The combination of all the flavors together continued on the citrus note with the orange gel̩e. Adding to the richness of the foie gras terrine were the sweetness of the Campari gastrique drops and the sour greenness of arugula. The dish essentially touched upon all corners of my mouth Рhowever many there actually exist. The flavors were absolutely titillating but the textures in the components brought the dish full circle.

Continue reading