It takes unwavering determination, the passion and perseverance of a saint, and an astounding will to follow the dream of creating a restaurant that is not only successful, but also inviting, alluring, and romantic in the heart of a bustling city. The owners of Fig & Olive restaurant have succeeded in this endeavor not once, but an impressive five times. With prestigious locales in New York (the Meatpacking District, Westchester, Uptown on Lexington, and on Fifth Avenue), plans are now in the works for a sixth locale in Newport Beach, California this year. Fig & Olive also upholds its successful reputation with its location in West Hollywood, CA on Melrose Place where we visited for a late lunch and were pleasantly impressed by what was offered with every aspect of the restaurant.
One of Several Live Fig Trees, The Front Entry of the Restaurant, & the Ordering Catalog for Fig & Olive’s Gourmet Market Items
Executive Chef Pascal Lorange harmoniously crafts his noteworthy signature dishes in the unmistakable Fig & Olive kitchen (where diners can catch a glimpse through the opening of a wall of shelves graced by hundreds of bottles of imported olive oils) where all things delicious and heavenly are being created. Mediterranean works of edible art utilizing imported and local tastes from Southern France, Spain, and Italy are carefully prepared and meticulously plated for delivering to awaiting patrons in the various dining areas of the restaurant. Chef Pascal sears, breads, fillets, roasts, and constructs his creatively inventive eye-opening culinary presentations. Using Fig & Olive’s namesake imported olive oils instead of butter in all the dishes is another incredible feat that Chef Pascal executes nicely.
Main Dining Room Enhanced By Fresh Rosemary “Hedges” and an Open Kitchen Amidst Decorative Bottles of Olive Oil
A multitude of seating options presents itself as you peruse the restaurant with optical observation. All flowing effortlessly from one area to the next. The restaurant abounds with fresh rosemary gently dividing the main dining room into intimate sections giving the feeling of dining within a sunbathed herb garden. Live fig trees placed throughout the establishment make a prominent statement, terra cotta-colored ceilings and white washed walls adorned with black wrought iron railings and strategically placed sconces contrast nicely, a skylight enhanced elegantly-appointed enclosed dining patio through a glass entry enchants, and the incredible aroma between the fresh herbs in the restaurant and the mouthwatering emanations wafting from the open kitchen invites patrons inside creating a warmth and comfort that Fig & Olive is proud to possess.
Sunbathed Patio Allows For Additional Intimate Dining
The nicely-appointed skylight-enhanced patio offers patrons another exceptional setting. Daylight floods through three large overhead bays, while walls are adorned with Fig & Olive’s namesake balsamic vinegars and other gourmet delights. Terracotta tiles show off their hue beneath your feet, and live fig trees stand proudly as one of two of the restaurants mascots. (The second being the olive tree, of course!)
Communal Table & Tasting Bar, Cozy Lounge Seating, Lower Level Bar, and the View of the main Dining Room From the Second Level
You’ll notice the chic communal table and tasting bar upon entering this haven of culinary delights. Plates of delectable fare can be shared, while new acquaintances can be made at the same time. The feeling is intimate, yet open, and the area flows into the lounge and bar space without flaw or hesitation. Upstairs, an additional lounge and dining area allows for a view of the lower floor over a black wrought-iron railing depicted with carved leaves of an olive tree. Downstairs, a reserved area for the resident DJ exists for live entertainment Thursday through Friday nights. The lights go down, candles and wall sconces are lit, the music begins, yet the environment remains intimate and romantic.
Fresh Baked Fougassee Olive Oil Bread Served With A Trio of Signature Olive Oils
Sometimes, the bread offering can make or break a beginning impression. The perfect beginning to a perfect meal can be found at Fig & Olive. The warm fresh-out-of-the-oven Fougassee olive oil bread that is presented before orders are taken resembled tiny pillows of happiness dipped into liquid silk. Unique in flavor and texture, our only disagreement was which one of three olive oils we liked best for dipping purposes.
We were thrilled to partake in Fig & Olive’s Three-Course Lunch Tasting Menu. I appreciate tasting menus because they allow for the experience of a multitude of flavors. This also aides in featuring various items at dining establishments for our readers. This time, my husband joined in and elected the Three-Course Tasting Menu as well. Tasting Menu portions at Fig & Olive are substantial…as large as their ala carte versions, and encompass all the flavor, excitement, and intrigue one can imagine tasting. Available Monday through Friday, this tasting menu is a ‘must-do’ at Fig & Olive when you’re hoping to experience an array of tasty and comestible pleasures.
Trio of Crostinis
The Crostini selection at Fig & Olive is noteworthy. Meticulously handcrafted, designed to entice the visual perception as well as the palate, and appearing as though they should be placed upon a pedestal and worshiped, we were presented with three of the numerous crostini versions before our first courses arrived. The first, the Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, and Chive Crostini. Creamy goat’s cheese just begging to be devoured mixed with the sweet earthy flavor of caramelized onions and topped with bright green fresh chives..this sampling beckoned seconds. The next, the Manchego, Fig & Marcona Almond Crostini took our taste buds for another flavor enhanced ride with its terrific blend of Manchego cheese and sweet fig topped off with the excellent crunch of Marcona almonds…just a delight to enjoy. The third consisted of prosciutto, ricotta, fig, honey and almonds…it just kept getting better and better as we explored the tastes of each crostini. Paired with a few glasses of white wine, these were highly enjoyable.
Trio of Crostinis We Indulged In
Northern Italian Mushroom & Truffle Soup
Our Three-Course Lunch Tasting Menus each contained a starter, a main entree, and a dessert of our selection from the available options. Above, my husband indulged in the Northern Italian Mushroom & Truffle Soup for his first of three courses. Made with no butter, cream, or animal fats, we were astounded by the flavorful result.
Close-Up View of a Spoon of the Northern Italian Mushroom Soup
For a mere $3 additional charge to the Three-Course Lunch Tasting Menu, I selected the Beef Carpaccio for my first course. Thinly sliced brilliantly-colored beef created a suitable foundation for the 18-year-old balsamic, multicolored halved cherry tomatoes, hand shaved Parmesan cheese, and white truffle oil. Would it be frivolous to say that this delightful presentation was “heaven on a plate?” We think not!
Fig & Olive’s Chicken Tanjine
Served with a side presentation of couscous, Marcona almonds, cilantro pesto, and a spicier addition for those more adventurous, the Fig & Olive Chicken Tajine was a satisfactory conglomeration of flavors for my husband as his main course. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender, while the vegetables and nicely seasoned broth was a pleasurable experience.
Fig & Olive Chicken Tajine With Sides of Spices & Couscous
Paella Del Mar
My eyes wandered to the Paella Del Mar for my entrée. Not only vibrant in color, but outrageously entertaining to the taste buds, this preparation included the aromatic and flavorsome culmination of ingredients such as black tiger shrimp, mussels, and calamari accompanied by a perfectly cooked and visually stunning saffron rice with chicken, green peas, artichoke, red bell pepper, a saffron Aioli, pimento, and oregano, then finished off with Hojiblanco olive oil.
Paella Del Mar
If you’re having a fight against your sweet tooth, then Fig & Olive is the ideal place to satisfy that craving. Our readers know we don’t usually indulge in too many sweet temptations, but we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample what Pastry Chef Andrew LeStourgeon was offering when we stopped in. How about a sweet crostini to start the taming of the sugar craving off on the right start? The Dessert “Crostini”, a shortbread foundation built up nicely with an ample spreading of mascarpone, pistachios, micro basil for garnish, and the most flavorful Amarena cherries you’ve ever tasted grace this creation. We loved the expert presentation by Chef Andrew. And the savory flavor of the dark sugar-preserved cherries joined with the creamy mascarpone and shortbread cookie were lovingly joined together on the palate. But there was more. We were somehow transported to a chocolate heaven of sorts upon first bite of the Chocolate Pot De Crème offering. Made with white, milk, and dark chocolates, and served with praline financiers, this frothy-topped seduction of the senses remained no more after my husband and I devoured it graciously. (Sweet tooth yearning sufficiently tamed!)
Chocolate Pot De Creme
It was a sincere pleasure visiting Fig & Olive for lunch. Part gourmet market, part phenomenal dining adventure, part culinary dream come true, we will most definitely be returning. Don’t forget to get that perfect gift for a loved one (or for yourself) before you leave. Choose from thirty types of olive oil, balsamic vinegars, sensational spreads, a variety of signature spices, candles…the list is quite comprehensive, yet the place to locate that perfect unique gift for someone special. Take a look at the restaurant’s gourmet market website at www.bestoliveoilstore.com to explore all of their divine items!
Special Thanks: We would like to give our special thanks to Assistant Manager of Fig & Olive, Chris Gonzales, and Angelo for their incredible hospitality and generosity during our dining experience.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upon initial entry through the front door, patrons are sent on a visual journey of inviting hues, intimate seating arrangements, and a multitude of bottled olive oils, vinegars, and other treasures. Warm colors invite you in while romantic touches welcome you, and sensational aromas of all things heavenly embrace anyone who enters this establishment.
- FOOD / DRINK: The visual enchantment parallels the flavorful delights Chef Pascal and Chef Andrew prepare for their guests. The presentations will astonish any culinary connoisseur, while the flavors of each dish will enlighten and heighten one’s senses.
- LOCATION: Fig & Olive is located at 8490 Melrose Place in West Hollywood, CA 90096.
- HOURS: Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 12 PM to 3 PM, while Brunch is served on Saturdays from 12 PM to 3 PM, and again on Sundays from 11 AM to 3 PM. Dinner is presented Mondays from 6 PM to 10 PM, Tuesday through Thursday from 6 PM to 10:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 PM to 11 PM, and on Sunday evenings from 5:30 PM to 10 PM. The Fig & Olive Lounge is accessible Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 PM to 11 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 PM until 1 AM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: We received exceptional service from our server, Angelo, who not only met our expectations, but surpassed them. We greatly appreciated Angelo’s knowledge, suggestions, and sincerity throughout our dining experience.
- PRICE / VALUE: An unequivocally outstanding value for the pricing of the enlightening fare at Fig & Olive. Portions were substantial (even on the Three-Course Tasting Menu), the wine we enjoyed was gratifying, and the ambiance of the entire establishment was seductive and memorable.
- CORKAGE FEE: $35 per 750mL bottle.
- PARKING: Valet service is available, as well as metered street parking nearby.
- TOTAL BILL: The wine we enjoyed was $12 a glass, the Trio of Crostinis was $11, and each Three-Course Lunch Tasting Menu was $28 a person. Well worth returning, well worth the splurge, and well worth the experience.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.