Finally got a chance to try Chef Neal Fraser’s new upscale casual eatery in Downtown L.A., Fritzi. Located in the Arts District, it seems to be an attempt to let people jump in, order some casual eats like Burgers, Hot Dogs and Roast Chicken, and get out in a reasonable time.
I was curious about this place since Chef Neal Fraser’s Redbird was a rather good experience in the past, and I was hoping to see what he might do with something more casual.
For lunch, they focus on a variety of appetizers, and offer Chicken, Burgers and Hot Dogs.
Wood Fired Rotisserie Chicken (1/4):
The Rotisserie Chicken (white meat) was a bit overcooked, but still tender and relatively moist. It tasted pretty fresh and the seasoning was OK. By itself, I’d rather go to Pollo A La Brasa, which had a smokier, deeper flavor.
It also comes with a choice of one of 3 sauces: Romesco, Yuzu Citrus Aioli or Green Harissa:
The Chicken with the Romesco was… OK. Tomato based, it made the Chicken taste… different, but not necessarily better. The Yuzu Aioli was a gorgeous citrus-y flavor, really bright, but with the Rotisserie Chicken? It was like eating mayonnaise with your Chicken. Just a bit odd IMHO.
The Green Harissa however was fantastic! Spicy with a nice kick, and really herbal, it tasted the best for my tastebuds with the Chicken.
To be fair, all 3 sauces were really interesting by themselves, and something I’d expect from Chef Neal Fraser.
The Chicken also allowed a choice of sides for Vegetable, so I got their Spit Roasted Cauliflower (Lemon, Calabrese Peppers, Herbs) which you can also order as a full appetizer:
Slightly tart, lightly spicy and just a great flavor bomb. Definitely the highlight of the lunch.
Their Tater Tots come with a side of Sriracha Aioli:
Sadly, the Tater Tots were just fried at the wrong temperature, being really greasy and oily (they were laden with oil). We couldn’t finish it.
Fritzi Burger (Beef) (Fontina Fondue, Iceberg Lettuce, Calabrese Relish, 1000 Island):
They offer a choice of 3 types of patties, Beef & Bacon Blend, Pure Beef, and Turkey. We opted for the Pure Beef, which is a blend of Brisket and Chuck. They didn’t ask how we’d like the burger prepared (odd), and when it came out…
It was medium-well to almost well-done.
And it was a mess. Just over-sauced, gloppy mess of a burger! And the Beef patty was really bland and dried out. For $11, I’d most certainly go to Belcampo, Golden State, Father’s Office instead. It was also only 4 oz of meat.
Their Potato Waffle is supposedly a new, interesting take on fried potatoes:
I’m guessing it’s pureed potatoes, cooked in a waffle iron? Sadly, like the Tater Tots, a real disappointment: Really salty, oily, and not very appetizing.
I think if you’re in the Arts District and have a hankering for Rotisserie Chicken, Fritzi might be an OK place to grab a bite. The Cauliflower was pretty spectacular, and the sauces were spot on. But in terms of execution, the Rotisserie Chicken wasn’t a game-changer or anything special. I think I’ve had Rotisserie Chicken just as good from California Chicken Cafe and I’ve had better from Pollo A La Brasa.
The Burgers are a mess and the potato sides so far are pretty disappointing. I’d give them another chance when things settle down a bit. But it’s sad that a place just newly opened by a chef of Neal Fraser’s pedigree could deliver so many misses so soon.
814 Traction Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: (213) 537-0340