When I say Fia is some of the best dining you’ll have in Santa Monica, I mean it. It is hands down exceptional.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I’m still trying to get my system of taking photos at variable lights temperatures at night with my iPhone down. I really don’t want to bust out my Nikon DSLR and a prime lens for casual dinners with friends. But, the food at Fia is too delicious to get caught up in what strangers on the internet think about my color temperature.
When my friend Ted chose Fia as the location of our dinner, I knew it was going to be great. Knowing each other for over 20 years, we know each other’s food tastes and palate preferences very well. My expectations were met – and more.
Our waitress, Jacqueline, was personable, funny and knowledgeable about the menu. When she mentioned the specials of the evening, the Beef Wellington caught my attention. After a relatively quick discussion of our flavor goals for the evening, our courses were ordered and set.
First, came the YELLOWTAIL (Yellowtail/Tiger’s Milk/Radish/Fresno Chili), followed swiftly by the TUNA (Hawaiian Bigeye Tuna/Caviar/Creme Fraiche/ Shrimp Chips). For an opening drink, I ordered the PARDON MY PEACH (818 Reposado Tequila, Peach, Citrus, Aperol, Chocolate Bitters). It was just damn good.
What did I enjoy the most about these dishes? The caviar on the tuna actually enhanced the dish. I’m very particular about the amount of caviar in dishes. I get annoyed if it’s a crap load used as filler, not adding but just there to say a dish is served with caviar. The tuna tartare dish at a Fia – alongside the use of shrimp chips – is a dish I could eat every night for a week and not get bored.
It’s life affirming.
I wanted to lick the plate.
Next up was the CAVATELLI (Handmade Cavatelli/Parmesan/Brown Butter/Fresh Shaved Black Truffle). Now, there is something sensual about being served a piping hot dish, while black truffles are grated in your face. It’s arousing, it’s sensual and it tastes like sex on your mouth.
Personally, I loved this dish. Ted thought that the cavatelli should have been a different pasta. However, my take is that the cavatelli soaked up the brown butter sauce and truffle shavings perfectly. Plus, this pasta dish wasn’t a ragu based sauce like at The Wife and the Somm. So, it didn’t need a long, flat noodle to collect the sauce on the fork. But, preference is preference. Honestly, we both loved it.
For our main dish, we split the GRILLED CORN (Brown Butter/Freshly Shaved Black Truffle) with the special of the night, the BEEF WELLINGTON (bacon wrapped asparagus, spinach). To go with the main course, I enjoyed the SMOKE SHOW (Bruno X Mezcal, Passion Fruit, Lemon, Clement d’Orange, Pepper Heat).
Now, it’s not often that one will see Beef Wellington on a menu. And when it is on special – at a place like this – my intuition of ordering it was spot on. This dish was the perfect combination of salty, umami and savory. The meat was outstanding; the breading was delicious; I had to stop eating in order to save room for dessert. It was perfectly portioned for two and everything that I desired for the main course.
For dessert, we split the AMALFI LEMON MOUSSE CAKE (Vanilla Mousse, Lemon Curd, Limoncello Granita, Meringue). With every lick of the spoon, I was reminded of why lemon based deserts are my absolute favorite to end on.
Dining at Fia is an experience in pleasure. C’est délicieux.
2454 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, California 90403