Deceptively simple, market fresh
A pricey ($30-60) californian restaurant with organic meat, gluten-free, vegetarian, & vegan options in at Fairmont Miramar Hotel (Santa Monica) with brunch & date night offerings.
Sun-Mon: 7am-2pm Tue-Sat: 7am-11am, 5pm-10pm
Although hotel restaurants can be temperamental, FIG, comfortably tucked away on the ground floor of The Fairmont, is definitely more hit than miss. Chef Garcia is a regular at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and rightfully gives the fresh, flavorful ingredients he selects center stage at this casual bistro-style restaurant.
Small plates abound, encouraging lots of sampling and sharing. The roasted meatiness of the Santa Barbara-sourced pistachios was a great match for the tanginess of the marinated young beets, but the pairing of red kuri squash with kale was less cohesive. The subtly sweet flavor and al dente texture of the squash fought with the too-similar attributes of the empire apples, and the kale’s contrasting green bitterness, represented by only a few tiny strips, was nearly absent from the dish.
We were pleased with the fresh-picked flavor and crunch of the green beans and the sautéed Bordeaux spinach, which featured the perfect touch of acidity complemented by the sweetness of dried dates. Our “blistered” little gem romaine hearts salad was delightfully savory—singed on all edges, salted with white anchovies and drizzled with vinaigrette and a dusting of sharp, nutty reggiano. The scarlet quinoa was light and fluffy, bursting with the autumnal flavors of Swiss chard and carrots, while marcona almonds added salt and texture.
The scallops, although generously portioned and nicely cooked, came doused in too much finishing oil. And the accompanying golden raisins and tangerine slices overpowered the scallops’ natural, delicate sweetness. Our favorite dish of the evening was the deliciously tender lamb coulotte, with slow-roasted tomatoes, carrots and treacle. The lamb was roasted to a perfect medium rare and served in small, mouth-watering medallions.
FIG’s dishes are deceptively simple, but look closely and you’ll notice expertly orchestrated and well-balanced culinary combinations that bring out the best in what nature has to offer.