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Oct 10, 2007 12:07 AM

Fraiche in Culver City

Had dinner at Fraiche Sunday night and can't say enough about how good a job Jason does in the kitchen. Started with their beef tartar, baby beets and marinated branzino apps, all excellent. Middle courses their pastas, one with crab and the other with veal, al dente and delicious. Mains were a absolutely crisp skinned, juicy half chicken, a char with a slighltly oversalty crisp skin but a moist center and an only so so flat iron steak tho the accompanying belgian fries with mayo was a nice touch. The cocktail service is a little weak but the wine list is fair and abundant with a good representation among their wines by the glass. The pear tart was representative of fraiche's origins. The service was ever present without being obtrusive or obsequious. A fun evening. Even in CC.

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  1. I thought the very same thing.


    1. If you find yourself in CC Fraiche can't be beat!
      We have had good experiences everytime we've been there.
      Hopefully the original problems with the Service and Host are a thing of the Past.

      3 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        I have to say that they may still be having some service issues there.

        The S.O. and I went there last night on a whim. Right before we left, opentable had reservations for 8:30. I didn't make one because we weren't sure if we were going to go and I, however crazy this sounds, hate making reservations and then not showing up for them.

        Anyway, we show up without reservations around 8:15 and the hostess (who we had called on the way there and told us a table was a table ready) told us that (the table that was available was taken and) that it would be about a half hour wait.

        OK, fine, so we hang out at the bar and tell her to come for us when there is a table available. Our waitress was weird. Our table was wet. When the S.O. pointed this out, she said that "Oh, it's OK, it's just water, I just wiped it down," not really understanding that we prefer to sit at a dry table even if it's "just water." Later, the S.O. says that we'd be happy to eat at the bar instead of at a table. The waitress makes much ado about nothing about how we can only eat from the bar menu at the bar. I want to emphasize that she was not bitchy but rather was weird and off-putting. OK! OK! we get it. She made us uncomfortable for being so elaborate about her explanation.

        Anyway, the evening progresses without even a courtesy check-in from the hostess. The S.O. and I strongly feel like she isn’t even trying to find us a table. The S.O. checks in with her and he’s left with the impression that she’s more preoccupied with the reservations. We are unhappy and feel like we’re inconveniencing them or something. With the kind of treatment we were getting, I would much rather be turned away than told that we can have a table in half an hour.

        Anyway, we ordered a plate or rigatoni Bolognese to share from the bar menu. The S.O. is always on the search for transcendent Bolognese. Theirs was truly spectacular. And at $11 a plate, feels like a steal for food that is so spectacular. Did I mention is was spectacular?

        I just wish that the hostess and waitress weren’t so stuffy and indifferent and weird. I know that our treatment would have been much different if we had reservations and that annoys me. A customer is a customer.

        1. re: geekbruin

          I'm a little confused. Did you have a table, (that was wet) and then leave for the bar because of the wet table and you then ended up eating the bolognese at the bar? If that was the case I guess my question would be why you didn't have the waitress get a busboy to dry your table.

          1. re: Servorg

            Sorry for being unclear. I was talking about the table we had in the bar area. The Bolongese was on the bar menu and was something we wanted to try, so we shared a plate of it. You know, as an appetizer.

            The whole wet table thing was just too confusing for the waitress and I think she immediately thought we were mad at her. We just let it go...

            The S.O. explains better: The waitress came with the menus and the S.O. says, "oh, this table is wet." She says, "It's ok, it's just water, I wiped it down myself" and places the paper menus down on the wet table.

            That was weird.

      2. Even in CC, indeed. You could do far worse in just about any environ.

        I find the wine list more than fair - I think its among the best in the city for value and options. Many items are only 1.5x retail, and they have some great gems in there. I like the cocktail service and the special drinks (blood orange martini....) - what was your issue?

        1 Reply
        1. re: CulverJack

          "Even in CC" is really a left handed compliment. I'm thrilled about all the new venues going up all around and the excitement that's being generated in the area.

          Vis-a-vis cocktail service, it was a little slow and a little off. And though the prosecco fruit flambe sounded real tasty to my wife who otherwise goes with a champagne cocktail, it was only half that - kaka. We sent it back and traded for a glass of pinot grigio. They didn't charge us for the flambe, another nice touch. Classy. Even in CC......

        2. had a great corn soup and burrata salad for a light lunch the other day. seating is cramped out on the patio and they don't have the tartare on the lunch menu - but other than that, i was pleased and would definitely return.

          1. I had such a wonderful lunch there, I returned for dinner a couple weeks later and it was absolutely horrible.