Before & After: Fig & Olive, Newport Beach

After, Fig & Olive (photo by Brad A. Johnson)

My review of Fig & Olive was published today in the OC Register. Here’s a little something extra: a before and after look at one of my favorite dishes there. Can you guess what it was? I have a love hate relationship with this restaurant because this is yet another place that wants to be both a fine restaurant and a trendy nightclub. That’s never a winning combination. 

Chicken paillard at Fig & Olive (Photo by Brad A Johnson)

This is the chicken paillard a gloriously flattened breast of chicken that’s been brushed with olive oil and lightly grilled then heaped with arugula, spinach and cherry tomatoes. It’s the sort of dish I imagine Julia Child would have prepared for herself at lunch if nobody else were around.

From the review:

“Sitting in the airy, olive-tree-lined dining room of Fig & Olive on a peaceful, sunny afternoon, what strikes me most about this new French Riviera-inspired restaurant is how it so beautifully captures the joie de vivre not of the South of France but of Southern California. Granted, it’s a very narrow, elite distillation of the Newport Beach lifestyle, but it is quintessentially Californian nonetheless. The valet circle out front is jammed with shiny new Bentleys, Teslas and Rolls-Royces, so many in fact that some of the better cars have to be parked in Siberia with the Toyotas and Chevys because there simply isn’t enough room for every big shot to be a VIP…”

Obviously this is just a snippet. You can read my full review and see the star rating along an extensive slide show by photographer Paul Rodriguez in this week’s OC Register. Subscriptions are normally required to read Register content in the week that it is originally published, but this one is free.

 I also invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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