Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brunch 11.10.2013 - Actually Making Good On "We Should Get Together Soon!"

FIG, Santa Monica

Hello Kittens!

Lately, I've been seeing more and more people starting to vilify social media.  There are many reasons why people are starting to take part in social media fasts, but a longstanding gripe has been that many of the friendships and relationships are merely surface level.  Personally, I've never truly agreed with that sentiment.  We live in an age where social circles are far-reaching and the demands of people's day-to-day lives don't make it possible to stay in touch with everyone in person, over the phone, or via personal emails (can you imagine how much time you would be spending with your email account?!?).  Social media makes it easy to keep up with people who you value, even if that means you haven't seen them in years.  

I personally love social media for the ability it affords me to continue fostering relationships from afar.  And while I don't actually have the time to get together with everyone on my Facebook newsfeed or the means to fly across the country to visit with friends who no longer live locally, that does not mean that I don't care about how they are doing or that they matter to me any less.  I will be the first to admit that I have thrown the "We should get together soon." around a lot.  Not that I don't mean it - I do.  I wish that I could get together with everyone I've said it to, but many times, it simply doesn't work out that way.  So, I was super excited when my friend Karin and I were actually able to make it happen.  Yes, we had to plan it a month and a half beforehand, but we finally met up last Sunday - the first time in about two years!

While I posted about how the day ended, I didn't share how the day started...with Karin and I having Brunch!  We had decided to meet up for the most important meal of the week and while I was open to driving south into Orange County where she lives, I was very excited when she told me that she needed to be at LAX to pick up her husband at 2:00.  That meant that we'd be dining in my neck of the woods!  I started searching the West Side for Brunch places that looked good and came across FIG in Santa Monica.  FIG is located inside the gorgeous Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.  
photo credit

I have been to the Fairmont Miramar twice before for work-related activities, but didn't realize that FIG was located inside until I followed my GPS and pulled into the driveway.  Once you drive around the beautiful tree, there is simply no way to forget this place.  Located at the corner of Wilshire and Ocean, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it's absolutely stunning!

This tree, a Moreton Bay Fig Tree (I wonder where the restaurant got its name....) was planted in 1879 by the original owner of the property, a Senator John P. Jones.  It now measures 80 feet high and 120 feet wide!  That's a big tree!  This might look familiar to those of you who have seen the movie Calendar Girls.

The hotel is beautiful and the restaurant is equally upscale and chic!

photo credit

FIG is just off of the fabulous lobby of the Fairmont Miramar that the who's who of Hollywood have graced over the years.  Greta Garbo lived here for more than four years in the 1920's, Jean Harlow lived here in the 1930's, and Marilyn Monroe took residence in the 1950's...not a bad pedigree.  But it's not just glamorous ladies of the silver screen that have taken to this place over the years - I'm betting many political strategies have been discussed in these rooms.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, President John F. Kennedy, President Bill Clinton, and even Charles Lindbergh (not a President, I know) have stayed here.  And I'd bet money that all of them, at one time or another ate at FIG.  Why?  Because it's fantastic!

Let me start talking about Brunch by acknowledging that what I'm about to say is sacrilegious.  Karin and I decided to meet at 10:30 because breakfast is only served until 11:00 and the Breakfast menu was far superior to the official Brunch menu that replaces it at 11:00.  So, in this rare instance (probably the first instance ever), I chose breakfast over Brunch.  By admitting that, I risk having my Mistress of Brunch designation stripped from me in a rather violent manner.

One of the things that drew me to FIG was not its location (I didn't realize it was in the Fairmont Miramar until I got there), but the fact that the menu is created around local, seasonal ingredients.  That was something that was beautifully illustrated with my Fritatta Verde.  The fritatta was simple - filled with asparagus, broccoli, herbs, and topped with a divine Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa.

It was delicious!  Although it needed a bit of salt, which was easily remedied with this ADORABLE mini salt tub (I have no idea what to call this little thing, so just go with it...).  But seriously, how cute is this???

Karin ordered the Santa Monica Breakfast.

 Judging from how clean her plate was at the end of the meal, I'd say it was pretty tasty.

From my MANY Brunch experiences, I've found that while people tend to want savory dishes, they at some point eye the sweet side of the menu.  So, the best course of action?  Order a sweet plate to share.  And FIG had a FABULOUS option.  The Hazelnut Waffle with Frangelico-Banana Compote and a Nutella sauce.

To. Die. For.

It was a FABULOUS Brunch in a fabulous setting with delicious food and amazing, beautiful company!

So Kittens, even if it's not convenient right now, I strongly encourage setting a date in the future the next time, "We should get together!" comes out of your mouth (or gets typed by your fingers).  You'll be so glad that you did.  Yes, I know it's not always feasible...but do what you can.  And if it just happens to culminate with Brunch, all the better!

Happy Brunching!

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