DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Just across from the Japanese American Museum, Fickle occupies the southwest corner of First Street and Central Avenue. This exciting newcomer is adding to the dynamic Little Tokyo dining scene with its farm-to-table seasonal menu that highlights the best and freshest ingredients available. 

Fourth generation restaurateur and Executive Chef James Ta has created a unique concept that features two venues in one: During the day, the space operates as The Sandwich Smith, serving gourmet sandwiches and salads to droves of hungry locals; at night, Fickle takes over as a sophisticated sit-down spot for dinner. The vibe is welcoming and casual, with a loft-like interior that boasts concrete floors and exposed ceilings. 

Fickle is all about the details, starting with the honey-rosemary popcorn that greets you at the table. It’s ample food for thought as you peruse the inventive menu. Starters set the tone, with options such as the delicate sweet breads in Madeira sauce or the roasted bone marrow topped with a zingy citrus-basil gremolata. The grilled spotted prawns in spicy Jerk butter are packed with flavor, as are the blue mussels with oxtail in kimchee broth.

Chef Ta’s creativity shines through even more with the entrees. There is the fried chicken with wild thyme honey and a side of garlic mashed potatoes, or the molasses pork belly with charred Savoy cabbage and pumpkin puree. The delectable list goes on, from the pan-roasted skate and grilled rack of lamb to the scallops with arugula pesto, and a rib eye steak with crispy smoked blue cheese. 

Rest assured, when it comes to excellent food and service, Fickle is anything but its name.  

At 362 E. First St., (213) 628-1888 or Open Sun.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. 

Cuisine: Farm to Table

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2013