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Pie Queen Nicole Rucker’s Fairfax Restaurant Feels Like an LA Touchpoint

Rucker and Shawn Pham team up for something special

Fiona’s Nicole Rucker holding baguettes up close.
Bread from Fiona
Courtesy Fiona
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Nicole Rucker is living in her dream at Fiona, an airy first standalone space for the star baker, situated right on Fairfax. Fiona is part pie and bread shop, part morning sweets destination, and — more than a little bit — part home for Shawn Pham, who’s leading the full food menu with what could be some of the city’s most creative new dishes.

Rucker is best known as a blue ribbon-winning pie creator who has spent time at places like the Gjelina group before transitioning over to Fairfax to help run the show at Cofax alongside partners James Starr and Jason Bernstein. She’s always had a way with flour and water, and now she’s getting the chance to grow her repertoire to a wider audience with this new well-positioned space just above Beverly Boulevard, on what has to be one of the hottest few culinary blocks in America.

Inside, Fiona is all class. There’s the mellow wood shelving and tables, calming art on the walls, and the throwback tile that gives the room a timeless aesthetic. Most everyone’s eyes will wander towards the pastry case and ordering counter, of course, though the greenery, golden sconces on the walls, and open ceiling are also not to be missed.

Beyond the casual dining area is the kitchen, where Pham (he of Simbal fame) is turning out an eclectic mix of new dishes to complement the creations up front, where Rucker is doing things like vanilla chiffon cake with ruby quince and upside-down date and coconut cake. Look for things from Pham like Japanese sesame butter toast or curry leaf toast, plus chicken noodle miso soup and a variety of sandwiches, salads, and more composed dinner dishes to come. There’s also beer and wine, plus coffee and a pretty expansive tea program.

Fiona opens on Monday morning, keeping hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, doing breads, pies, pastries, and cookies to start. The full savory-side menu will roll out on December 3, along with a push to 10 p.m. hours nightly as well.

Fiona. 339 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA.

Curry leaf toast
Japanese sesame butter toast
Upside-down date and coconut cake
Chocolate bundt cake
Chicken noodle miso soup
Crispy celery root pancake
Counter and front display at Fiona restaurant on Fairfax
The counter
Lots of light
Dining space
Fiona’s dining room, with wooden tables and exposed ceiling.
Lots of room
The outside look
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