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Peking Duck 'Is the Biggest Surprise'

Chinese cuisine to replace French-Italian food at Fraiche, which closed Sunday in downtown Santa Monica.

UPDATE 7:32 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4: Max Chow messaged Eater LA to explain that his restaurant group has no record of a Lee Yang ever working for it. There's now some uncertainity over who actually owns the restaurant and who'll do the cooking. A former Fraiche employee told Eater that previous Fraiche chefs are taking over the kitchen. The full story is here.

Chef Lee Yang, who has served as the executive chef at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, is moving into the now-folded Santa Monica Fraiche, where he will dish out "haute Chinese cuisine," Eater LA reported Thursday.

Red paper signs posted in the downtown restaurant's window say it's closed for "decorating" and will reopen in March. The signs also say, "Peking duck is the biggest surprise!"

At 312 Wilshire Blvd., Fraiche served French and Italian food. It was to no foodie's surprise, apparently, that it closed Sunday.

The original location in Culver City, which opened to acclaim in 2007, shuttered in June and the Santa Monia outpost, which opened in early 2010, was on the market for more than a year before it folded.

From Grub Street Los Angeles:

The [Santa Monica Fraice] shutter caps off a tumultuous stumble into irrelevancy despite a stirring debut with Jason Travi in the kitchen.

Over the years, the restaurant's demise, or worse, was predicted many times, with the original Culver City location calling it quits in May, after witnessing "E" from Entourage and Benjamin Bailly both stop short of throwing it a life-saver.

mimi January 04, 2013 at 06:34 PM
We need an authentic Chinese restaurant in Santa Monica. I hope they succeed. That location has a history of restaurants going belly up. If their Peking Duck is the real deal, I will be happily surprised and a regular customer.

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