Fundamental L.A. may at first seem a little out of place among the other restaurants in Westwood or in L.A. but we are confident it is here to stay. Note that I mean out of place in a good way. The vibe of Fundamental L.A. is reminiscent to what we will find in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. Bare cement floors, wooden communal tables and tables, and light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, it feels very much like one of those bare and minimalist places that attract young urban foodies and scenesters. Fundamental L.A. is best described as abstract in its decor, if it even can be said that there is any decor in the first place. At this chef-driven place, the laid back and friendly servers are dressed in flannel shirts and jeans. As unpretentious as this place sounds, the major driving factor of Fundamental L.A.'s success is its food. Think of it as fine dining quality food meeting its very casual counterpart in atmosphere.
Portions are meant to be shared so it was a fantastic way of communal dining. After all, what's better than having shared plates at a place like Fundamental L.A. where people can get together with a loved one or friends over good food and drinks. We started off with the spring salad and though there was nothing about the salad that was over the top. we loved the purist way of the salad preparation. The greens were lightly tossed with vinaigrette and the fresh and crisp halved hazelnuts stood out in the salad.
The duck liver jar that was topped with a delicate layer of vanilla gelee paired so well with the toasted brioche that we requested for more toast which our server was absolutely glad to bring more to the table. The spread had a combination of savory and sweet tastes from the liver mousse and vanilla gelee.
Fundamental L.A. makes its pasta in-house and the tagliarini was cooked to a perfect texture of al dente and had a firm and yet nice chewy texture to it. When a simple dish of fresh egg noodles just tossed with green garlic, shaved pecorino, and herbs can taste that good, the kitchen must be doing something right.
We ended the meal with the veal breast and it turned out to be better than what it was called on the menu. It wasn't just breast meat but the cut of meat likened to veal belly with a layer of fat in the center. The fat that was rendered during the cooking process helped make the meat flavorful and moist.
Towards the end of our meal we became curious when we saw many people around us with a milky drink in a tall glass. After asking our server about it, we found out that it was their popular house made vanilla cream soda. In fact, word has it that it's the best vanilla cream soda in the city. That's enough of an incentive for us to want to return and try it.
Don't be deceived by this spartan restaurant. It might look bare but it is hip with seriously noteworthy good food.
1303 Westwood BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90024