Pretty, scene-y: Fig & Olive Melrose Place

View from the upstairs bar at Fig & Olive

A week ago (I know, I know — I’m behind!), the New York-based, olive oil-centric restaurant Fig & Olive opened its flagship West Coast location at the trendy corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Melrose Place. It was a scene, my friends: three nights of people in cocktail attire walking a red carpet complete with a step and repeat, as well as fashion presentations by Chol√© and Fendi. All that for a restaurant opening!

To be fair, the restaurant is housed in a pretty awesome space: it’s huge, and features rosemary bushes and an olive tree in the main dining room. There’s even an upstairs space, which houses the Fig Champagne & Cocktail Bar, unique to the L.A. location.

Fig & Olive’s thing is olive oil, which it uses in place of butter in nearly all its dishes. You can even buy bottles of its special infused versions at the restaurant (blood orange-infused olive oil, anyone?). The cuisine is inspired by the Mediterranean, and that means the entire region, including France, Italy and Spain.

The opening gala was divided into three nights, one for each region. I attended the French night, though we were served what must be either signature items or ones that were easy to serve as passed-appetizers, i.e., crostini, i.e., not French.

Mushroom crostini

Fig and prosciutto crostini

There is also a respectable cocktail program designed by Giovanni Martinez of Buffalo Club and Les Deux Estate fame. The best drink I had that night was the Summer in Provence made with Old Tom gin, house-made rosemary and thyme syrup, muddled blackberries and fresh lime juice.

Summer in Provence cocktail

Fig & Olive owner Laurent Halasz has an eye for fashion and plans to partner with fashion houses to put on actual shows. Good idea, bad idea? I can’t decide, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Looks from the spring/summer 2011 Chole collection

It’s always hard to judge the quality of a restaurant by an event like this since it’s nowhere near the actual experience you’d get as a regular customer. The service was friendly and efficient as could be given the large number of people in the space, but I’ll have to go back for a proper meal to really make a decision about the food. From this experience, it was just OK. But the place sure was pretty!

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Maya Meinert

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03 2011

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  1. 1

    I’ve been a fan of their NY locations so am looking forward to visiting their west coast location