FIG Restaurant. Foie Gras Ooo La La.
*UPDATE* Since the California foie gras ban, FIG no longer serves this amazing Foie Gras Bloody Mary. Growing up in the Portland, Oregon suburb of Gresham, I was not afforded many opportunities to partake in obscure, yet traditional, foods such as the French delicacy, foie gras. My food upbringing was fairly traditional 1980s/90s American fare; i.e. chicken casseroles, tomato based pastas, ground beef “Mexican” and the occasional visit to the local pizzeria. As a kid given the option of eating animal organs, I would have rather stepped on a Lego brick, which let’s be honest, is about the worst pain you can imagine.
But at the ripe old age of 19, I had my first encounter with foie gras of the pâté variety. Though I admit I was a bit scared to be eating a mousse made out of duck liver, I found the taste to be interesting and somehow similar to cheese. So over the next six or seven years, I became progressively more ambitious and open minded to the foods I was eating, eventually culminating in the day I first tasted seared foie gras. Majestically served with sautéed mushrooms, a fried egg, and red wine sauce on brioche bread, that day will go down as one of the greatest days in the history of my mouth. Since then, of course, I have had a love affair with the luxurious, rich and buttery magic that is foie gras. Now here comes the bloody mary.
Fig Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, has become well-known for their brunch time bloodys (see DT’s review of Fig’s House Mary here). From the bacon rimmed bloody maria to the tomato-watermelon mary, one might very well have a difficult time choosing from such an interesting list of variations. But given my love of foie gras, I knew exactly what I would be ordering well before I arrived for brunch: The Foie Mary, described only as Belvedere Vodka, Foie Gras, V8.
Now obviously the vodka was good. So the real treat was the V8 emulsified with a foie gras mousse, a mixture that gave this bloody mary a sort of enjoyable pungency. The tomato juice tasted fresh, not at all like V8, so I imagine the chef behind Fig’s Bloody Mary Bar, Ray Garcia, has dolled it up in some fashion. I want to know his secrets! But my absolute favorite part of this bloody was the foie gras stuffed olives. As a meat lover and a foie gras fanatic, I couldn’t have asked for much more in a garnish. An interesting and tasty variation of the classic bloody mary, Fig’s Foie Mary gets high marks for creativity, taste and quality.
P.S. For those about to try the Foie Mary, we salute you… wait, no; I mean you better hurry (In California, Going All Out to Bid Adieu to Foie Gras. New York Times.)!
FIG Restaurant 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. P: (310) 319-3111.