y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: What's for Brunch? Salt's Cure & Fraiche Offerings

What's for Brunch? Salt's Cure & Fraiche Offerings

Every once in awhile I absolutely love brunch. It always feels like a celebration. Having said that, buffets are not my thing. So it's delightful when not one, but two excellent brunch menus cross my radar - Salt's Cure and Fraiche.

Line of patrons waiting for Salt's Cure to open at 11:00 a.m.
Christopher Phelps' and Zak Walters' Salt's Cure in West Hollywood offers a small, daily changing menu of of light fare. Their goal of producing high quality, hand made, locally sourced food using the freshest ingredients really is evident in the every bite.

There's a reason why there were dozens of people waiting at the front door for the place to open! Even the employees were taking cell phone photos of us.

Pig placement and animal artwork
The bright and airy ambiance simply pays tribute to the humanely treated animals that are procured for their meat-intensive food.

Kid foodies waiting to dine
The day we went there were a lot of children aggressively pushing their way in, competing for the 8 tables in this shop. And finding the best seats in the house. They were also served their food more promptly than most diners. Judging from their energy level, probably a good idea to keep them busy.

Preparations in the open kitchen
A couple of members of my group nabbed seats at the counter and had this excellent view of the kitchen crew making all dishes from scratch. Their passion and dedication was clear, and they even took time to chat with the diners. 

My hand-ground coffee came in the French press above and it was strong, outstanding coffee. So nice to have your own refills ready to go.

The counter contains a row of house-made pickles of various kinds, which are offered if requested.

fresh bread, biscuits, tangerine roll, oatmeal griddlecakes, roasted potatoes and charcuterie plate
Breads, biscuits and rolls were constantly baking. The oatmeal griddlecakes and roasted potatoes did not disappoint. Tangerine rolls made from croissant dough are as ethereal as they sound.

There were all sorts of combinations of inventive charcuterie, cheeses and pate plates floating around. It was a small but solid chalkboard menu.

2 x 2 x 2
The classic 2 x 2 x 2 platter contains, you guessed it, 2 strips of nitrite-free bacon, 2 fennel sausage patties, 2 eggs, a biscuit and some fruit compote, garnished with fresh greens and a slice of orange for some freshness.

The biscuit was a little 'blonde' for my taste and could have used a bit more browning, but it tasted fine.

So what's next at Salt's Cure for me? More brunches and of course, dinner. I heard a food editor on KCRW's Good Food radio show stating Salt Cure's fried chicken is better than Ludo's (gasp). The chefs were not even aware of this statement and suggested they would offer it more often if they'd known!

The second recent brunch was at Fraiche in Culver City, a "tweet-up" with various bloggers from Bay Area, San Diego and L.A. My friend Abby of Pleasure Palate kindly granted my request by getting me a seat at this table for the chef's tasting menu and it was a blast breaking bread with this fun and warm group.

Food related graffiti at Fraiche
The interior of Fraiche contains black chalkboard walls with creative food cartoon drawings everywhere. While it was all entertaining, I loved the nod to the Ludo Lefevre coq logo. The sketches did not fail to entertain, and many of us left the table between courses to view all of them.

 I've been enamored with Chef Benjamin Bailly's food  since my first bite at Petrossian and had at least 1 excellent meal at Fraiche in the past. His rustic French-Italian menu including many egg dishes (my favorite) surely could not have disappointed.

Bottmless mimosas and Baby Beet Salad
The hearty meal contained many, many courses and went on for hours, so this is only a recap of my favorites. What better place to begin than bottomless mimosas? The baby beets salad with homemade ricotta, oranges and pistachios was an outstanding way to kick off the meal.

My 2nd favorite dish of Soft Polenta with slow poached egg, pecorino cheese and wild mushrooms is not pictured here, because its looks do no justice to the rich, creamy, decadent flavors. It will live on in my tastebud memories though and if you go, do not miss it!

Baked eggs
So if that was the 2nd favorite dish, that's only because the Baked Eggs with goat cheese, olives, tomatoes and chives, served in a cast iron skillet with a side of crusty bread stole my heart. What a lovely homage to the humble egg. So clean and simple yet a punch of flavor. Delicious.

Truffle Burger, fries with garlic aioli and Croque Madame
We could have ended the meal right there to nobody's disappointment, but the hearty food kept coming. Bailly's famous Truffle Burger with onion fondue, Boschetto cheese and truffle aioli lived up to its reputation.

The Croque Madame with smoked ham, eggs and gruyère cheese beautifully melted looked and felt like it was straight out of Ratatouille. The side arugula greens, which would normally play 2nd fiddle, held its own, being perfectly dressed and seasoned.

Chef's Selection Dessert Platter
After 7-8 courses, not one but platters full of desserts came out, which we began referring to as a "dessert orgy". I don't even remember it all but the gorgeous jars of vanilla, mango panna cotta and tiramisu all surprised us. The vanilla jar came with balsamic vinegar jelly and the mago jar with pop rocks hiding among the fresh fruit!

I vaguely recall a trio of Crème Brulées, including pistachio and butterscotch, chocolate lava cakes, rosemary cookies. Perhaps more. While I'm not that fond of desserts, the creativity that went into the flavors and combinations was impressive. Everything tasted divine.

All in all, there are two places that really deliver and can be added to the L.A. brunch repository. What do you like to have for brunch, and where? Comments are most welcome.

Salt's Cure on Urbanspoon
Fraiche Culver City on Urbanspoon

5 Responses to “What's for Brunch? Salt's Cure & Fraiche Offerings”:

  1. Salt's Cure is fantastic! I had a lukewarm experience at Friache during brunch. My fave brunch is at Canele in Atwater Village. Get the French toast!

  2. hello Gastronomer, Thanks for your suggestion. I will most certainly try Canele. And yes, Salt Cure definitely does it right. What meal(s) did you have there?

  3. I've eaten brunch and dinner. Both were terrific!

  4. Marie says:

    I have been neglecting my brunch lovin' side and haven't tried either of these spots, but have been hearing lots about both! The baked eggs at Fraiche look fantastic.

  5. Marie, treat yourself to brunch. It feels like a mini vacation. Yes those eggs were simple yet amazing.

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