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Fraiche in Culver City closing?

Baron May 2, 2012 09:42 AM

Is it so? Does anybody know why?

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  1. TonyC RE: Baron May 2, 2012 10:14 AM

    Cuz it was sucking really hard by last year? Snotty FOH, rotating chefs, high rent, "truffle burgers"?

    1. Discokill RE: Baron May 2, 2012 11:48 AM

      Yes closing. http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/04/...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Discokill
        carter RE: Discokill May 2, 2012 05:52 PM

        And here is the liquor license application to verify that Public School, from the Grill Concepts organization with one currently operating location at 612 S. Flower in downtown LA, will be taking over the place, and asap, you say!

      2. j
        josephnl RE: Baron May 2, 2012 01:28 PM

        No great loss!

        1. r
          rnp0123 RE: Baron May 2, 2012 01:54 PM

          Good! Really nasty and arrogant hostess and manager.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rnp0123
            ZoeZ RE: rnp0123 May 2, 2012 02:44 PM

            Agree X 2 - rough language and arrogant service; my $13 cocktail had no more than four sips - the hostess/waitperson said - I saw you drink it all at the bar PS the drinks were sent over to our table. No great loss.

            1. re: ZoeZ
              trolley RE: ZoeZ May 4, 2012 02:20 PM

              good riddance! no use thinking back to the why's on this this one anymore. several yrs ago we made reservations for six. one of the six was going to be my brother in laws 89 yr old mother. at the time of reservation i notified them that she has a walker and was wondering if she could get around easily and if we could sit inside. they say no problem to everything. we get there at opening dinner time (i think it was 5 or so) and they sit us the a table on their covered patio of the entrance. i told them this was a big problem due to our 89 yr old guest being sensitive to the cold. the snooty guy said this was the best he could do. did i mention the dining room was pretty much empty? see ya!!

          2. westsidegal RE: Baron May 4, 2012 12:13 PM

            once i tried Fig, there was absolutely no reason to ever return to Fraiche.
            maybe the new owners will offer something of interest. . . . .

            22 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal
              Baron RE: westsidegal May 4, 2012 03:04 PM

              The new owners are the same that own the Grill on the Alley. I'll be looking forward to a quality restaurant. I, personally, never had a bad experience at Fraiche but that was a couple of years ago. But I did hear many horror stories. The Culver City restaurants seem to have a short life span. K -zo I hear is going down hill, le Hermatage has closed, Beacon is gone and there are others that have closed.

              1. re: Baron
                westsidegal RE: Baron May 4, 2012 05:00 PM

                i go to k-zo a couple of times a month.
                have not noticed any decline in quality, but, to be fair, i always order the same 4 items every time i go so i can't legitimately speak to the menu as a whole.

                1. re: westsidegal
                  Baron RE: westsidegal May 4, 2012 07:40 PM

                  I have always enjoyed k-Zo but the last time I was there it was below par quality wise and service wise. Maybe it was because it was a Monday. I respect your opinion so I will go back. Just curious...what 4 items do you order? For me, it's hamachi sashimi. I'm addicted.

                  1. re: Baron
                    Servorg RE: Baron May 5, 2012 06:55 AM

                    The last time I was at k-Zo I thought they were way below par. I won't go back again.

                    1. re: Servorg
                      Baron RE: Servorg May 5, 2012 08:41 AM

                      Thanks Servorg. Another one of my favorites bites the dust! Hate when that happens. So where does one go for good sushi in Culver City? And which of the CC restaurants are still worth going to?

                      1. re: Baron
                        Servorg RE: Baron May 5, 2012 09:05 AM

                        For upper end sushi I am pretty much stuck on Kiriko. I think their sushi is excellent and my wife (despite being Japanese/Korean) doesn't like sushi, which means that their cooked dishes (which are top notch) come into play for us. I need to get over to Shunji one of these days and see what the fuss is all about. For more affordable sushi we end up at U-Zen. Again, they have lots of cooked dishes and I like their sushi.

                      2. re: Servorg
                        Clyde RE: Servorg May 8, 2012 03:04 PM

                        Nooooooooooooo! I love K-zo.... it's my perfect sushi place on a hot summer day. i haven't been there in maybe 2 years though. always got the sake in a box. bummer.

                        1. re: Clyde
                          Servorg RE: Clyde May 8, 2012 03:10 PM

                          Maybe it was a fluke, but the meal was a total bust. It might be a good plan to give it another go, but this isn't like trying out a sub shop for another sandwich. This wasn't a cheap lunch and I don't like throwing C notes away for no good purpose.

                      3. re: Baron
                        westsidegal RE: Baron May 5, 2012 12:43 PM

                        saba, ikura, scallop, unagi.

                        after streetgourmetla alerted us to sergio's cooking, my patronage of sushi bars, as a whole, declined.

                    2. re: Baron
                      bulavinaka RE: Baron May 5, 2012 06:47 AM

                      >>The Culver City restaurants seem to have a short life span. K -zo I hear is going down hill, le Hermatage has closed, Beacon is gone and there are others that have closed.<<

                      I think that immediate market is over-saturated. There are now so many eateries vying for business. Another issue is how relevant or current a restaurant is relative to the fickle expectations of LA's food cultures. And of course rent - it's really high along the boulevards.

                      If a place hasn't carved out a niche or reputation in this neighborhood in short time, or if your current theme is over-replicated (e.g. so many French eateries within a few blocks) or just not achieving acceptance for any variety of reasons (e.g. an eatery named, "Moko"), one's time here is limited. I think of the current local restaurant culture as a classic example of Darwinism.

                      1. re: bulavinaka
                        CulverJack RE: bulavinaka May 5, 2012 09:20 AM

                        I think there's always room for something great and well executed. I loved Fraiche when it began, top to bottom. I'm admittedly not as sensitive to FOH attitude or issues as some, if I have to endure or get past a knucklehead or two to get to my table, I can deal with that. I had as many warm, friendly experiences with their staff at the podium as I did cold or snooty. Mostly I found it amusing - two or three years before, CC was nothing more than a couple of exits off the fwy, one of which brought people to Tito's Tacos! Dark days indeed. Now we had a real restaurant that folks could actually be offended by! Wow!

                        We went a lot in the beginning, and found it consistently good. But just before the chef left, and definitely after, the consistency was gone and quality went way down from where it was. They definitely didn't meet expectations. We went once for dessert and it was really not good, with bad Muzak on - Toto as I recall. Now that is offensive! And that was the last time for us.

                        Also, what they were doing well you can find better in so many other places now, as westsidegal points out. Market driven cal med is everywhere - and that's a good thing. If the chef had stayed, maybe they could've stayed fresh, or even Fraiche. I agree this gets tougher as rents rise, but that's part of the biz. Look at FO and now Lukshon. Akasha and Fords are always more full than I'd expect. And that newer sports bar Roccos always has a crowd. It's still very doable, just a bit harder now.

                        And whatever goes in there, it will be a step up from where Fraiche went. Please though, no Toto.

                        1. re: CulverJack
                          AAQjr RE: CulverJack May 5, 2012 09:52 AM

                          That summarized it very well. I always liked their fresh pastas and small plates in the early days, nice patio. In the end it wasn't nice enough to be fine dining or cheap enough to be on the regular rotation.

                          ...Batch is another new CC restaurant that seems to be doing pretty well.

                          1. re: AAQjr
                            Dommy RE: AAQjr May 5, 2012 10:52 AM

                            Batch actually just suddenly closed,,, the place is cursed...


                            The sudden spade of Culver City restaurant closing. Batch, Royal-T, Fraiche and others has been very sad to see. Although, I will note that Yamaya-da is still packing them in, there is always a line out out the door at Tender Greens, Even EK Valley seems to have found its regulars. So I wouldn't been too worried about the restaurant scene, I think it has to be the right restaurant...


                            1. re: Dommy
                              OCrashad RE: Dommy May 5, 2012 11:05 AM

                              Hate to say this but the service sucked and can't help but think they got what they deserved. My wife was just recently there with her friend and the waiter changed the tip she left him on the credit card receipt adding some extra.

                              1. re: OCrashad
                                Baron RE: OCrashad May 5, 2012 11:26 AM

                                Looks like there will be a lot of vacancies in Culver City which will force the rents down. I'd like to see a good Chinese and seafood house open up.

                          2. re: CulverJack
                            bulavinaka RE: CulverJack May 5, 2012 11:30 AM

                            I hope that I didn't imply that NO restaurant can survive, let alone thrive, in DTCC, or any other diner-rich environment - to the contrary. The constant fallout that this area is going through is just the evolutionary process of businesses coming in, giving their business models a go, and letting the results decide whether they are fit to stay. Whether those that are successful are Chow-approved is another issue.

                            As you've noted, Fraiche is no longer offering what you enjoyed about them, plus they had other factors (i.e., foh issues) that worsened their demise. FO has had a successful business model with tons of positive components that keep their market segment coming. And with Sang at the helm (no pun intented), I see no reason why it or Lukshon will ever fade.

                            What makes comparing Fraiche with FO/Lukshon even more glaring is when considering locations. imho, Fraiche's potential for continued success should be higher as long as the business was managed properly. The rents are obviously high in this area because of its ability to draw spenders. The spenders come here for food, entertainment and shopping - all within walking distance. If their business model has failed them so badly that they can't survive here, I don't know where they could move to and be successful.

                            The Helms Building is not within the draw of DTCC, meaning that people are going there specifically to enjoy FO/Lukshon. Sang is obviously doing a lot of things right.

                            1. re: bulavinaka
                              CulverJack RE: bulavinaka May 7, 2012 04:56 PM

                              I agree - I think the Fraiche location is a great one and is better set up for success. Helms is definitely a destination, I think you have that completely right. I think quality/value/consistency will be what works for the Fraiche spot whether it is high end (not likely) or something more pedestrian (more likely given the Daily Grill group that is coming in) and I'm looking forward to being able to go back to the spot - it's been dead to me for at least a year. I hope they have a good bar program, they'll need one to compete. Fraiche did, and it made them compelling when they opened.

                              Another ripe spot that should be turned to great (someday!) is the Culver Hotel. But that would be another post...

                              1. re: CulverJack
                                AAQjr RE: CulverJack May 7, 2012 11:07 PM

                                don't they have a bar? I keep meaning to check it out but never get around to it

                                1. re: AAQjr
                                  CulverJack RE: AAQjr May 8, 2012 01:07 PM

                                  Yes, and I'm sure they'll keep it. What I mean is great house drinks (cocktails, I suppose) that are yummy just reading the combinations. Sotto has this. Akasha too. Comme Ca has for days.

                                  1. re: CulverJack
                                    AAQjr RE: CulverJack May 8, 2012 02:49 PM

                                    I agree with you that there is space for a more modern cocktail space in the area. Have you been to the bar at the old Tokyo 7-7 space? Personally it looks ugly from the outside, trying to decide if it's worth checking out or not

                                    1. re: AAQjr
                                      CulverJack RE: AAQjr May 8, 2012 03:02 PM

                                      Haven't been in yet, but I've been by it at night and it was pretty hopping a couple of weeks ago. I think its nicer inside than out from what I saw when I peered in. If they can get people into that location, they must be doing something well.

                                      1. re: CulverJack
                                        Discokill RE: CulverJack May 8, 2012 08:05 PM

                                        Do they still have that stupid "get the days password from twitter" thing? I never went purely on principle for that.

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