Fig & Olive


When flashy New York restaurants try their hand in L.A., the results can be mixed. This Tuscan-modern place—with dramatic two-story ceilings, an enclosed rear courtyard, and potted rosemary as far as the eye can see—seems an appropriate fit for the chichi Melrose Place strip. The crowds at brunch, lunch, and dinner are already among West Hollywood’s most polished. Olive oil is the unifying force here. Far-flung varieties are sold at the front in bottles, served alongside heavenly cubes of focaccia, whipped into mashed potatoes, and drizzled tableside over sea bass en papillote. The array of carpaccio, crudo, and crostini is as fresh as it is inventive, but that momentum slows with the main courses. Penne with wild mushrooms seems thrown together. Our taste buds still yearn for that perfect L.A. paella—this isn’t it. If a menu item lists truffle oil as an ingredient, expect a heavy dosing. At $19, the Negroni could be the city’s most indulgent. » 8490 Melrose Pl. (310-360-9100 or L Mon.-Fri.; D nightly; brunch Sat.-Sun. Full bar. Mediterranean $$$

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