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What's worth going to 'Ford's Filling Station' or 'Fraiche' in Culver City

any recent eatings there? any food recommendations?

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  1. I think Fraiche is much better than Ford's FIlling Station--perhaps a smidge more expensive, but not much. Fraiche's farro salad with fresh english peas and the rabbit stuffed tortelli were outstanding. Ford's has a yummy charcuterie plate, but I think the main courses are lacking.

    1. I would have to disagree - I prefer Ford's to Fraiche (see this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/402439 for my Fraiche review and others'). However, I would agree that the farro salad at Friache is very good, as is the cheese and charcuterie at Ford's. It would depend too if you're looking for a more casual, communcal experience (Ford's) or a more formal dinner (Fraiche).

      1. I've been to FFS a number of times, not on my own dime. I've been to Fraiche once, also not on my dime. Were I to spend my own dime, I'd go to Fraiche. Partly because I want to try it a few more times before I make any sort of real judgment, but also because I already know about the uneven, so-so food, and uneven service at FFS.

        Edit: I'd also spend my own dime at Wilson.

        1. I quite like Fraiche. I'm lucky that I ended up ordering the farro salad which others have also been raving about.

          Here's my (rather lengthy) review:

          1. Haven't been to Fraiche and can't wait to check it out, but have to say that I wasn't totally taken by FFS. Have you checked out Village Idiot? It's over in the heart of Melrose (so a bit of a ways from CC), but worth it if you want good pub fare.

            Village Idiot
            7383 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

            2 Replies
            1. re: bogachuka

              haven't heard of Village Idiot....sounds like a place to put on my 'to visit' list. Thanks!

              1. re: bogachuka

                Haven't been to Fraiche either, but I too wasn't particularly impressed by Ford's stuff. Temperature was off on some dishes & others were way too greasy.

                One restaurant I am fond of in the area is Beacon -- it has a very solid Asian-fusion menu.


              2. Fraiche is significantly better than Ford's.

                Been to Ford's three times (the last time b/c we just couldn't figure out the reason for the raves and the constant crowds and thought we were missing something...we weren't) and Fraiche twice. Ford's is not particularly imaginative nor flavorful fare. The menu describes things meticulously, but I failed to pull much more than blandness out of our dishes, which were, at various times: charcuterie, shrimp flatbread, vegetarian flatbread, fish n chips, pub burger, butter salad. The real standout was the salad and the pear buckle. Lots of good wines by the glass and a really nice atmosphere and feel inside (big fiery ovens, large Persian type rugs, dark, warm woods -- it's that restaurant as living room concept). I'd probably go back again to sit and eat a little bit at the bar, but not for a meal.

                Fraiche is simply a more high end experience, though the second time service was indifferent and there are numerous threads on this and other boards about the surliness of the hefty, French host (if you can ask for Cat as your server without alienating him and getting tossed out the place, do so). At Fraiche, just about every dish was pleasure: asparagus soup, white gazpacho, risotto, monkfish francaise (wow!), cod, branzino (roasted in parchment paper), and particularly the beet buratta and hazelnut salad. Desserts were also stellar.

                It is a bit more expensive than Ford's, but worth what you spend, whereas Ford's, similar to Wilson, seems a bit much for what you get (though Wilson is better than Ford not as good as Fraiche).

                1. Having been to both numerous times, I find Fraiche has significantly better (and more interesting) food, is more comfortable and much more consistent. They also offer a separate bar menu which includes terrific moules frites and very good (albeit messy) meatball sliders.

                  1. I'd have to cast my vote for Fraiche. Better food, better service, better space. The friends I was dinning with had a run in with the surly host. It's amazing to me that he manages to be so unpleasent to so many people. Why he indulges himself in being ugly to customers at his place of business I can't understand.

                    1. I agree with most responses which recommend Fraiche over Ford Filling Station. New addition: absynthe at the bar....

                      1. Question?? Do either take (and honor) reservations?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: thebaron

                          Both do. I had dinner at Ford's again last night, very very good steak tartare, kobe cheeks, burrata proscuitto salad and polenta cake. Good lamb, shrimp flatbread. Decent halibut. I like the food there, it isn't particularly creative or special but it's solid.

                        2. I haven't been to Fraiche yet, but I've been to FFS twice and am not impressed - which seems to be the general consensus of this thread.

                          1. I've been to FFS a few times the food i've ordered has been good. The asparagus was good, four cheese flatbread, charcuterie. The service isn't very good though and the hostess's were very incompetent. Last night they made me wait 20 minutes even though they had 10 avaliable tables in the place and I was sat at a table after 20 minutes that had been avaliable the whole time. I saw this happen to everyone else who was there. I just don't understand why you don't sit people right away. It was very frustrating to wait and wait while there were tons of tables open. The food was pretty good though. I haven't tried Fraiche yet but I can't wait. I've also heard good things about K-Zo

                            1. Fraiche

                              Ford's Filling Station

                              9411 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                              Ford's Filling Station
                              9531 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90232

                              1. Fraiche is definitely worth it. Ford's is OK, but I have a serious problem with the quality vs price. It's not really an expensive place, but they seem to serve up mostly average food. Take the burger, for instance, it's OK, but the burger is about $18 if you add bacon. It's not even on par with the burgers at the Shack. I don't know, I just think the place is seriously overrated when you really take a strong look at it. I do give the atmosphere a good rating.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: wooster

                                  I went to Fraiche late in March for my Bday with famille. It was wonderful. I had the bronzini and it was light and crispy. terrific. Also the mushroom salad which was a melange of wonderful and different funghi mixed with greens in a fine dressing. the table shared the parpadelle with either chicken or rabbit sauce. that was the best thing of all, rich and flavorful.
                                  service was impeccable and attentive.
                                  we even had dessert --not common for this group. we walked away completely happy about our choice.

                                2. Fraiche is Light Years ahead of Ford's, but a bit more expensive. Don't waste your $ at FFS. I have never left there happy. If you want a great meal in Culver City, I strongly suggest Beacon, a Pan-Asian fusion restaurant East on Washington. Everything about Beacon is fantastic. Also try K-Zo for Sushi. Very refined and high quality.

                                  1. fraiche by a landslide. ford way overated.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: feedthebelly

                                      Beating a dead horse here but Ford's has officially been added to my "only for a cocktail" list (which of course is better than my "never again" or "not if my life depended on it" lists). I think it's pretty unimaginative and not terribly good. Between the two I think Fraiche by a landslide, though unlike the rest of the board I'm quite a fan of Wilson (or Akasha is worth a try if you're in the area).

                                    2. Fraiche, no contest!

                                      1. I've been to both and agree that both are good, but I prefer Fraiche. I had the roast 1/2 chicken with wild mushrooms and mashed potatoes. The best I've ever had, really. Beautiful crispy skin, perfectly juicy underneath. Real comfort food. Looking forward to a return to try some of their other interesting dishes. I hear they do a good job with bronzino.

                                        1. I would say Ford's except I'd rather not go to either one. Both are overpriced and food is just.. MEH. Would certainly taste a heck of a lot better if their prices were a lot lower. I'm shocked that Fraiche has 3 stars. Rather drive down to Melrose for Table8 than go to either.

                                          1. You know how you find a place and want to back again and again because there's always something new - and it's always good? Well, I found my place in LA...and here are my thoughts. I was in LA for 10 days - 5 of us ate at fords the second night. Came back for lunch 3 times - yes - I made the drive all the way from Hollywood - it was my comfort spot in this beautiful little neighborhood. Jamon Serrano, Hot Sopressata, and Mortadella - little olives - ate the plate clean - delicious! Also tried this new dish they recommended called Sturgeon Confit with smoked tomatoes and olive and leek compote on a crostini - yikes it was incredible!! I was skeptical but it was major delicious. 4 Cheese Pizza on flatbread - light and savory! Kusshi Oysters - small and succulent - (usually I get tough big ones in other restaurants) great! Roasted Beet Salad - my mother used to force to eat beets - so this is the first time since a kid to eat them on a dare at the table - I loved them!!! (in shock) Buttermilk Fried Chicken - I am from the south so I wondered about this one but decided to try because our server recommended it - but it was crispy and boneless - on top of great potatoes and succotash .... I have died and gone to heaven! Polenta Cake - wow - I had no idea polenta could be so delicious. Fish and Chips - Every bite was perfect! We also tried the Shrimp Curry - as a curry aficionado I have to admit this is really good - the bacon on top and the toppings on the side make it perfect. And something that brought me back for lunch 3 more times ( I am now addicted) - the Pulled Pork Panini! Unbelievable! I hated to see the last bite go. For dessert we had dark chocolate Tobblerone ice cream. Silky and rich!!! Also had the banana split - we all devoured it too...with three scoops of all the Toblerone flavors in it. Yummy and big! And one more thing - they make fresh lemonade there - couldn't resist! I am so crazy about this restaurant. It feels so good and comfortable. My choice is Ford's.