Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fraiche

There's been a lot of buzz about Fraiche and its new chef Ben Bailey.  Despite the 3 star ratings on Yelp, I had it on my list of to-try places even before Ben Bailey arrived because I really enjoyed their offering at Taste of Beverly Hills.  Plus, Wontuan gave it his seal of approval.  So with their new chef acquisition and all the blogger buzz, I just had to give it a try.  Smooth Obturator and Triple T didn't have much expectations going in, so were pleasantly surprised by the solid eats.

Brussel Sprouts chorizo, manchego, dates, almonds, piquillo
Although brussel sprouts can do no wrong these days, I was underwhelmed by this salad.  Smooth Obturator kept insisting the salad was good if you ate all the components together.  Try as I may, I just didn't see the harmony in all the ingredients.  I craved a bit more dressing to just bring it all together.  I'll give the dish props for using an ingredient not usual thought of in salads!


Baby Beets house made ricotta, orange, pistachio
Triple T seemed to like her dish of beets.  I'm always a bit put off when beets are not red, but yellow or orange.  They're just not as "wow" because sometimes, like in this case, they look like sad apricots or orange slices.  They tasted fine, slight sweet with meaty texture.  Eaten with the ricotta and arrugula made for some flavorful bites.




Pate de Campagne country mustard, cornichons
I was a bit disappointed with my appetizer.  I guess I expected the pate to be of the smooth luxurious variety.  Had I paid a bit more attention to the dishe's name (campagne = countryside) I would have figured out that it was going to be a bit more "rustic."  It was chunkier and pretty light in flavor.  I missed that livery saltiness.


Coq Au Vin tagliatelle, mushroom, pearl onion
So sorry the picture is slight unfocused, but I was rushing.  Smooth Obturator was a bit hesistant to order just chicken.  He felt it so "pedestrian."  It turns out, the dish was anything but ordinary.  It was very tender and deep with flavors that we did not expect from coq au vin, which in our minds is just like a chicken stewed with wine.  The taglietelle and mushrooms worked beautiful to make a hearty dish.


Crispy Loup de Mer sunchokes, salsifi, mushroom, bordelaise
Triple T really enjoyed her fish.  I did too because it had a nice crispiness with the meaty tender texture of the fish.  The sunchokes and mushrooms brought some extra rich earthiness.  


Taglierini Neri maine lobster, cherry tomatoes, basil
I'm sad we didn't order more pasta dishes, since that is what I heard Fraiche did well.  My pasta dish was delicious.  It was generous on the lobster, which I found very surprising.  The pasta was fresh and coated in a light buttery tomato sauce. 


Caramel Budino vanilla mascarpone, sea salt
The caramel flavor was pretty mild from other caramel desserts that I've had.  I enjoyed the added sea salt although I think there was just a tad too much, and they were pretty large flakes of sea salt.  


Pistachio Creme Brulee rosemary cookies
I'm not a huge fan of creme brulee nor do I go gaga over pistachio flavored things although I do like pistachios.  The rosemary in the cookies was too strong and herbal for me.  Triple T liked her dessert though.



I liked Fraiche for the range of dishes offered in a blend of French and Italian styles.  I wish I would have eaten there before Chef Bailey came just as a comparison.  If you're looking for a solid meal in the Culver City area then I would recommend Fraiche.  It's probably on the pricier side, but the portions are generous.  I will definitely come back again to try some of the other dishes.

Fraiche
9411 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232


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1 comments:

Tuan at March 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM said...

their happy hour, or "industry hour", as i think they call it, is pretty good. fancy schmancy beers for 5 bucks. oh, and you can't beat the free sangria for those culver city block parties.

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