Restaurant Fraiche

 There are so many things that I love about living in NYC that I couldn't even begin to compose a list, well maybe that isn't entirely true.  But I would have to say that on the top of the list is that you can completely function in my town without ever having to drive.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  You can go out to whatever time and drink without worrying about the drive home. The only downside is that if you are a teen learning to drive, you just don't get enough day to day experience driving. 

Last night we had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law and some friends of theirs who I have heard about over the years and no surprises, we have many people that we know in common.  So, it was like seeing old friends. 

We had dinner at Fraiche Restaurant in Culver City.  The restaurant opened up 2 years ago to rave reviews and they have been on a roll ever since.  A small little intimate bar tucked into the left hand corner of the restaurant with a elevated indoor dining area.  Dining outside too.  Very clean, modern and with an open kitchen.  I particularly liked the hanging ceiling over the dining area which defines that area. 

The service was a tad slow last night from taking the order to getting it to the table, although well executed, there was definitely some type of back log in the kitchen last night. 

We all had the Fruits de Mer platter to split.  Thinly sliced calamari that had been marinated and served cold in a vinaigrette, tuna ceviche which was chunky and really delicious, shrimp, mussels, clams and oysters.  We did the petit platter for all and then everyone also had a starter of something else. 

I split the mushroom salad with my sister-law.  Thinly sliced mushrooms served with arugula and sliced fennel and grated parm.  There was something almost smokey tasting to the salad, not too heavy and just the perfect balance.  My brother went with the burrata.  3 nice sized pieces of a creamy tasty barrata with each served over a thin sliced piece of prosciutto and a thick aged balsamic dripped across the plate.  Again, simple and full of flavor.  All the plates had good presentations.

For dinner, I went with the Dorado.  Crispy skin fairly decent sized pieces of Dorado, well cooked, served in a creamy broth with tiny pieces of chorizo and clams.  There were orders of the pork chop and the Branzino roasted in parchment paper.  The cheesy polenta served on the side of the pork chop was so good that it was hard for me not to stop honing in on my brothers meal. 

The menu is a mixture of French and Italian but slanted towards Italian.  For instance, there is steak tartare ( very French ) and then a variety of pastas that you can have for a meal, a starter (half portion) or just share. 

Nice night, always fun to meet new people.  Worth putting Restaurant Fraiche on list when coming to LA.  But, if you are coming from NYC, think about the designated driver.