Image via: FreePressure.com
Opened in February 2009, FIG Restaurant chef Ray Garcia is serving up inspired dishes that don't just include greens, they are aiming to run the gamut of green by including all of the buzzwords - local, organic, sustainable, fresh - and really incorporating them into all of their dishes.Garcia visits the local Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays each week to check out not only what is in season, but to also stay in tune with which produce will be harvested and when. Knowing what is just about to sprout helps him plan future dinner menus, keeping the restaurant as in tune with the seasons as possible. Restaurant patrons also know what is in season by tags on the menu - "Just Arrived," "In Peak Season," and "Coming Soon."
All meat, poultry and fish served at the restaurant are chosen from companies that incorporate sustainable practices, some of which are just down the road. For example, all mussels, clams and oysters come from an aqua-farm in Carlsbad, CA. La Quercia in Iowa supplies all the acorn-fed, pasture-raised pigs, and ensures that every part of the animal is used. The different types of meats (prosciutto, pancetta, guanciale, and spallacia, for example) are cured and sent over to the restaurant at different times, depending on what the meat calls for.
Looking at each menu, one notices not just that each dish is an inspired and creative blend of flavors and textures, but also that, wow, there are a lot of vegetables (and fruits) on that menu. It is hard to find anything on the menu that doesn't have even just a dash of something that comes from vegetables. Not only is Garcia using local produce, but he's also making sure you get your palette is teased with the best the season has to offer, year round.
The restaurant itself is located in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, and has a laid-back atmosphere, with things like waffle-weave dish towels for napkins, mismatched decor and even a communal table, should you feel inspired to dine with strangers and enjoy good food and good conversation. Other features include a wine bar and a cheese bar, complete with a fromager at the ready to tell you more about what you are sampling, reports a recent food review in the Los Angeles Times.
Not sure you're ready to commit to an entire meal or not sure what to choose? Why not try FIG at Five - where a select menu is offered, with all of the listings - wine, cheese, meats - each only $5 each from 5-6pm every night. FIG is located in the Fairmont Miramar hotel on 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA and is open for breakfast daily from 7-11am and for dinner Tuesdays - Saturdays from 5-10pm. :FIG
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