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Sep 27, 2010 10:27 PM

Going to Fraiche for my birthday - Which one is better?

My birthday is this Thursday, and since I have a Groupon for Fraiche, I will be going there with my girlfriend to celebrate. I haven't made reservations yet, so I thought I would ask before I did which one y'all think is better. I live in West LA, so Culver City and Santa Monica are both pretty easy to get to. What say you? Culver City or Santa Monica? Does anything really set one apart from the other or is this six of one, half-dozen of the other?

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  1. in my experience, the quality of the fish has been better in culver city.

    1. Neither is quite what it used to be, what with chef changes, etc. The Culver City location is probably a little more consistent, and may have a better menu. But afterwards you are in Culver City, as opposed to near the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, the pier and the beach. But if that isn't important, choose Culver City, I think.

      1. Culver City is more festive for a birthday, Santa Monica is more serious. But it does have the advantage of being near so many bars within walking distance.

        1. I personally found the Culver City one to blow away SM. I have to go try SM again, as I went twice right after they changed over from their previous "Riviera" concept, but it didn't feel at that time like it had a real chef in the kitchen. Culver on the other hand, totally did, and that's with the new hand of Benjamin Bailly in the kitchen. Very good and interesting meal. Lots of good pastas (but this is no straightforward Italian joint). I have detailed pics (I always do) on my blog.

          Andy Gavin

          1. Happy Birthday! The food (particularly the bar food menu) is significantly better at Culver City under the new chef, Ben Bailly (formerly at Petrossian) but the food at Santa Monica is certainly fine albeit not as good as when Jason Travi was involved with both restaurants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: New Trial

              Thanks for the words of advice. Ended up going to the Culver City one. Had an incredible tagliatelle with sweet breads to start and then a braised veal cheeks which was good but nothing special. More or less just a decent pot roast.