Riva turns into Fraiche II; chef Jason Travi says he is working "on a consulting basis"
As of Wednesday, Riva in Santa Monica will become the second outpost of Fraiche, the Culver City restaurant that chef/pastry chef duo Jason and Miho Travi opened in 2007. But the Travis won't be around to usher in the changeover; the couple, currently in Boston, are also traveling to Japan and won't return to Los Angeles until the beginning of December.
"I knew I needed to get away," said Jason Travi, via phone from Boston. The Travis, who were helming the kitchens at both Fraiche and its year-old sister restaurant Riva, recently became parents. "Every day when I woke up and went to work, the baby was asleep, and she was asleep when I got home. It just wasn't good. I knew I needed to figure out a way to do things differently."
As for whether or not he and Miho will return to the kitchens at Fraiche, he says: "We’re just not really sure yet. We’re basically waiting until we get back in December" to make a decision. "As is it is right now I’m working on a consulting basis. I went over the menus before I left and tried to get everything as organized as I could and it’s up to my sous chefs to do the rest."
Fraiche II will open on Wednesday with a menu similar to the Culver City original's, plus some new twists from Elderoy Arendse and Sydney Hunter III, says Amir Ohebsion, president of Fraiche Management Group. Arendse and Hunter have been steering the Fraiche/Riva kitchens in Jason Travi's absence. John Park, formerly of the Water Grill, has stepped in as pastry chef.
Fraiche in Santa Monica is located at 312 Wilshire Blvd., (310) 451-7482.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Riva. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times