Santa Monica: Enter the FIG

I’ve been hearing the buzz about FIG and I finally had an opportunity to check it out for dinner last week.

Matthew Lehman, the Director of Food and Beverage of FIG selected us a great pinot noir, called the Bonhan-Dillon, from Hirsh Vineyards. He explained the story of the wine label art and I was instantly in love with the story line. It would be wonderful to collect these labels.

We were given a cherry salad as an amuse bouche. I rather liked it since usually amuse bouches tend to showcase the chef’s talents but this one emphasized the bounty of the day. Mathew explained he and the chef, Ray Garcia are all about a farmers’ market driven restaurant where the menu changes weekly.

We also had olives and cheese, oh so much cheese. Fig is known for their cheese and instead of calling their cheese guy  a cheese monger, locals call him “Cheesus.” These were so great that we also had a cheese plate for dessert.

I loved the prawns! Perfectly sweet and very fresh. Of the cocktails, I really enjoyed the Blueberries and Thyme. Matthew went over the menu with us and he mentioned several things that caught our interest. The blistered romaine salad (aka deconstructed Caesar salad) was great but we were in high anticipation of the BACON WRAPPED BACON.

The pork belly was wrapped with the thinnest bacon I’d ever seen which left it really “bacon-y.” Really great appetizer or perfect for a light meal. Did I just say light? I mean, lighter.

My table mates had the steak, beet risotto and the special that day, rabbit. But my eyes lit up when I saw they had meatloaf. And not just any meatloaf but short ribs and pancetta meatloaf.

This was easily my favorite dish of the night and a friend kept stealing bites of it. I thought his fries for his steak were great, the beet risotto had great texture and another enjoyed her rabbit very much.

I immediately zeroed in on the nutella and chcoolate tart for dessert. It was scrumptious. I loed that marshmallow cream on it.

I really think FIG is a great deal. Where else could you have a 5-star meal near the ocean. Did I mention free parking? The restaurant offers 3-hour validated parking. Plenty of time to enjoy multiple courses.

And starting this weekend for Memorial Day, FIG introduces their gourmet hot dog cart. They’ll have seven different hot dogs including a Chicago dog, a LA dog (turkey with avocado) and a signature FIG dog featuring comte fondue, bacon habenero and fritos.

FIG Restaurant Santa Monica

at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel

101 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 319-3111