Fig & Olive, Newport Beach?
Has anyone tried the new Fig & Olive which has just opened in Fashion Island? We love the food at the L.A. location, but the noise is pretty awful there.
Wow…I've eaten 3-4x at the L.A. Fig & Olive, and now once at the Newport Beach restaurant, and although pretty much everything is dressed with excellent olive oil (of different origin and varietals), I can't recall anything being dressed with truffle oil.
Just had dinner at the new F & O in Newport Beach. It is huge; we understand by far the largest in the group (New York, Chicago, L.A. and Newport Beach). It's a very attractive restaurant, and although very energetic (noisy!), it's decibel level is much more tolerable than in the L.A. restaurant. The service was somewhat disorganized when we were there, but this is forgivable for now…the restaurant was jammed to overflowing, and had been open for less than a week. The cocktails were very good, but as Porthos has noted, the wine pricing is truly obscene…ridiculous markups, and I saw nothing on the list for less than $50! The bread service is great…excellent warm focaccia served with a trio of delicious olive oils (which rotate, and are all for sale). I started with the zucchini carpaccio which was very good (although easy to make…I make it better at home!), and my partner had an assortment of crostini, which were also very good. I had the really excellent chicken tagine which was extremely flavorful, had nice moist chicken thigh meat, apricots, vegetables, etc. and was served with couscous and the usual garnishes…slivered almonds, harissa, and another sauce. Quite delicious. My partner had salmon which was beautifully prepared, but quite simple with an excellent olive oil herb sauce, cauliflower puree and green beans. The food was all very well prepared and really delicious, and the menu definitely interesting and different from the offerings of most of the other restaurants in the area.
I think that when they work out their service issues, and perhaps modify their wine program (we were told that it's in the works), this will be a very good addition to the Orange County dining scene.
Place is huge (seats about 400 all told) and very attractive--a larger version of the one on La Cienega. Service was friendly but there were some kitchen issues, with entrees not coming out together but long periods apart. To their credit, a floor manager noticed, did what he could to expedite the remaining entrees, and comped desserts. As to the food, the menu seems a bit more extensive than in L.A. but there is overlap. The crostini are every bit as good, as are the mushroom croquettes. Entrees were more mixed, with a negative vote for the roast chicken, a positive vote for the paella (really closer in style to a risotto) and a so-so for the bouillabaisse. Desserts were a hit, especially the apple tart. Wine list is rather pricey. Noice level is high (too much cow bell with the music) and crowd was mixed but, in the bar/lounge area, at least, tended to look like they could have been regulars at Ocean Club or Javier's scoping out the competition.
I have been to the NB location twice now. First visit was on the second day in operation and the most recent visit just last night (open for about a week). First visit was a very positive one with an experienced server from the LA branch. Last night's visit had very sloppy service (olive oils not being explained, server focused on the football game, mentioning how much money he's made since the opening, etc.) they were also out of martini glasses last night with drinks poured in wine glasses, etc. etc.
Food was good on both visits. On first visit I tried the lamb chops, dover sole, oysters, crudo - all were well prepared. One person in our party ordered a steak that was mediocre with a side of hotel-like mashed potatoes.
Last night I had the veal dish that was nicely done and ordered the crudo again (salmon crudo not very good but I generally dislike uncooked pr unsmoked salmon). It was part of the crudo sampler so I gave it a try.
Desserts were underwhelming on both visits (pot de creme first time, soufflé second time).
As others have mentioned, the room is large and nicely decorated. The wine is ridiculously priced. Had an uninspiring bottle of Barolo the first time and stuck w cocktails the second time.
Overall, I think F&O is a good addition to the NB dining scene and provides a nice non-steakhouse alternative to Mastro's. The service needs to be worked out however. I didn't try any dishes with truffle oil thank goodness.