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Fig & Olive celebrates with a splashy grand opening

March 5, 2011 | 10:00 am


Fig & Olive, the sleek French-Mediterranean restaurant with four locations in New York City, celebrated the opening of its first Los Angeles outpost in grand style this week.

Guests arriving at the massive restaurant, which is located on the corner of Melrose Place and La Cienega, just down the street from Ago and Comme Ca, walked down a red carpet to enter the 8,000-square-foot space. Once inside, they passed a large retail wall filled with olive oil (olive oil is the restaurant's signature ingredient, and more than 30 varietals are offered for sale) and past a bar that stretches across the whole right side of the restaurant. From there they rounded a corner into a high-cielinged atrium of sorts. The focal point of this main dining room is, of course, a large olive tree.

A staircase just past the semi-open kitchen leads to a balcony containing the Fig & Olive Champagne Bar & Lounge. There guests can lounge, sip bubbly and look over the bustle in the dining room below. Just beyond the dining room is an enclosed garden terrace with a large skylight and lush Mediterranean foliage.

The place is so big, and was so packed on Thursday night that it was difficult to gauge how the hyper-modern space will function as a regular restaurant. But the fashionably dressed folks in attendance seemed to be digging the big-city vibe.

The dinner menu, with entrees ranging in price from $17 to $45, includes: seared sea scallops and truffle artichoke tapenade with mushroom, arugula and pine nuts, served with aged balsamic vinegar; porcini and gorgonzola jamon Iberico ravioli; grilled branzino glazed with 18-year-old balsamic vinegar, figs, snow peas and a sweet Picholine olive oil; and Provence rosemary grilled lamb chops marinated with rosemary and garlic, finished with a rosemary garlic olive oil, and served with goat cheese gnocchi and eggplant roasted with thyme and honey.

Wine and cocktails are also available.

8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood. (310) 360-9100; www.figandolive.com.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo credit: Lisa Cohen/Fig & Olive