By { Beth Weitzman

Locals and visitors alike flock to FIG Restaurant, set in the surf-modern, relaxed California atmosphere that is Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, for fun times, delicious culinary creations, perfectly mixed cocktails and a varied wine list. It’s an ideal venue for myriad occasions—business meetings, get-togethers with friends, date nights or large family gatherings. Executive Chef Jason Prendergast’s menu features super-fresh, heritage-inspired dishes, shareable plates and tableside offerings. He sources ingredients from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market, as well as local California foragers, ranchers and fishermen. In fact, he can tell you where livestock was raised and what it ate, the name of his fisherman and the precise spot where the day’s catch was caught. For real! A wide array of offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch mean you could dine here multiple times a week and not have the same thing twice. On a recent Thursday evening, the bistro was busy but not insane; the vibe was perfectly chill. For starters, we chose the wood-fired margarita pizza (the foraged mushroom pizza with Taleggio cheese, wild arugula and summer truffles is also very popular); and super fresh Omega Blue Baja kanpachi with fennel, strawberries, Fresno chiles, matcha and masago. Next came the salads.

They all sounded so good, it was hard to choose, but we were delighted by the stone fruit salad with Glacier goat cheese, Santa Barbara pistachios, Scarborough Farm’s greens and golden balsamic vinaigrette; Bloomsdale spinach with warm pancetta vinaigrette, cured egg and garlic crumbs; and heirloom tomato with burrata, pickled pearl onions and basil white balsamic. Pasta dishes were incredibly tempting—Dungeness crab spaghetti alla chitarra, Maine lobster rigatoni, corn agnolotti—but we were already filling up, so we jumped right to the entrees. We loved the Alaskan halibut with Sun Gold tomatoes, basil and olive oil and duck breast with sage spaetzle and braised endive. Other guest favorites include the Mary’s Chicken with white corn, peppers, okra and chicken jus, and Aspen Ridge braised short rib with herb gnocchi and Thumbelina carrots and spring peas. On-the-side musts are wood-oven roasted veggies, including squash, asparagus, broccoli de cicco and mushrooms. An amazing cheese selection (more than 25 varieties) and charcuterie menu are on offer every night; Tuesdays through Sundays, FIG’s very own fromager, Eric Brazel, curates the cheese and charcuterie board with his international and domestic faves. Not to be missed: FIG AT FIVE, a nightly happy hour (5-6 p.m.), when most menu items, including some of chef’s favorites, are half-price. 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA, 310.319.3111,