Did you hear that Fraiche, in Culver City, would be closing its doors? We did, so we took it upon ourselves to make one last visit to one of our quiet favorites. And what better day than our 1st wedding anniversary.
With a quick phone call the afternoon of the reservation alerting the staff to the fact that “a vegan” was in the party, an amazing meal was set in motion.
Our waiter was careful to go over the dinner menu with me, pointing out that the Black Truffle Risotto (mysteriously not shown on the linked menu above) would be vegan as long as the cheese was left off. The rice itself was not cooked with cream! There are 2 things in the title of that dish I could not resist: “black truffle” and “risotto”.
We started off our evening with drinks: I ordered the “Essence of Grapefruit” and it was truly everything a grapefruit lover would want. The balance of vodka and juice was perfect to the point that I forgot I was drinking alcohol, and so ordered a second one! Unfortunately, I cannot find a complete cocktail menu online, so I may be a little off on the name of the drinks Friand ordered, but I believe they were “Ginger on Fire” and “Cucumber Martini.” The ginger was a fantastic balance of spicy and sweet, while the martini was an interesting specimen. On first sip, all I could taste was the cucumber, not a hint of alcohol, but on the second sip all I could taste was the vodka! Weird, but fascinating!
Next on my menu was the baby beet salad sans ricotta cheese. The beets were beautifully blanched, delicate in flavor and texture against the oranges, salty pistachio and the sparingly used mustard vinaigrette. The professional touch to this otherwise simple dish was the use of the bitter baby arugula. A forkful of all flavors was a beautiful experience. Don’t skip this salad just because it looks simple!
Now, on to the coup de grâce: Black Truffle Risotto. Let me repeat that:
Now go eat it.
I really could not believe that there was no cream in that rice. It was so rich and starchy and perfectly cooked. And not “al dente” like on the verge of still being a bit chewy. Al dente like the definition of al dente. Perfectamundo!
Beyond the execution of the rice itself, the mushrooms were perfectly cooked. There’s always a danger of (overcooked mushrooms) + (overcooked rice) = mush mush and more mush. But no! And the black truffle oil in the mixture? To say my most basic brain stem functions were tickled by the truffle doesn’t even scratch the surface. I slowly savored each bite, rolling it around in my mouth, feeling the intoxicating effects of the truffle. Now, if you are easily overwhelmed by truffle, this may actually be a bit much for you, likewise if you don’t like spicy, you may not want the “Ginger on Fire”.
So go to Fraiche in Culver City before they close their doors forever! That is, unless you live closer to the Santa Monica restaurant in which case: rock on with your big bad self!
As always, Fraiche gets another 5 sprouts for the attention given to the vegan in explaining the menu, but also for upholding the level of integrity of their meat & fish entrees in those vegan items. I never once felt that I was a burden or nuisance to the chefs or staff, nor did I receive anything less than a memorable meal.
I think I’ve got a couple of great reasons to check out the Santa Monica location, and I hope you will, too!
Hugs & Kisses,
“The Valley Vegan”
Management recently confirmed that Fraiche will close its doors “sometime” in late June.
With sadness, we announce that Fraiche Culver City will soon close its doors. While we don’t have an exact date, it is likely sometime in late June. Fraiche Santa Monica will continue operations, and we hope our Culver City patrons will visit Fraiche Santa Monica to get their Fraiche fix.
As a thank you for five years of patronage, we have created the [Secret Menu].
The discounts on this menu will be available at both Fraiche Culver City and Santa Monica until we close the Culver City restaurant. Just print the menu and present it to your server when dining for these terrific prices on your Fraiche favorites!
Fraiche – Santa Monica is located at:
312 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401