I am the luckiest cat on the planet. I can admit that. Last night marked the second paid-for Providence extravaganza - and affirmation that this place, after three mind-blowing experiences, really is The Best Restaurant in LA. My fav.
Place: Providence, Wednesday, 5/24 - 7:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest (A Miami near/dear who wanted LA's finest)
Ratings and descriptions:
Ambiance - A
Elegant beyond description, but not in the least bit over-the-top. Divine.
Service - A+
The Sommelier remembered me, as did the wait staff. And they absolutely spoiled us, without being too intrusive. I had the privelege of meeting Adrian, the pastry chef, as well. Queen for the day, indeed.
Food (Taste) - A+
Yup, I dished out the Highest Mark. When they take so many risks, but nail every last out-there flavor combo and preparation, I just can't hold back.
Food (Presentation) - A
Elegant. Stunning. Minimalist. Perfection.
Wine/Drinks - A
Kick ass wine list, and really, some of the most sophisticated and tasty martinis evah. Wine list is heavy on the expensive offerings, but there's enough in the mid-range to satisfy. Best sommelier in town, too.
Value - A-
Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's so freaking worth it.
Overall Experience - A
I could just CRY I love this place so much. And no, I'm not on the payroll, I'm just riding the food coma wave.
By the way, we opted to order off the menu - I STILL haven't hit the tasting menu. Next time? Yes!
Started with Vinho Verde, a crisp white from Portugal, served by the glass at the bar.
Subtle, refreshing, and quite lovely.
Had a bottle of Anjou - had an oaky finish, very complex; an absolutely fabulous blanco.
The sommelier treated us to a malbec tasting at the end of the eve, too - of course, I'm totally spacing on the wine specifics, but it was an incredible quad - he served us a blend, and gave us a 3 ounce pour of several of it's individual layers. A-Maz-Ing.
Course 1 (Bread):
Crusty, chewy, absolutely yummy bread, served with perfect-temperature butter and sea salt (I truly can't understand why EVERY place doesn't do this).
Course 2 (Amuse Bouche):
Heart of palm soup with foam
Profiterols with cream
** Subtle, mouth-awakening, heavenly morsels
Course 3 (Appetizer):
** Oh heck yes - we spoiled ourselves. The caviar service here is top-notch; all the delicious accompaniments, chopped soooo finely, and the blinis are round little warm gems.
Course 4 (Gift from the chef):
Salmon mousse, served on top of lemon gelatin, with salmon roe and herbs
** Three of the most unusual, mouth-melting bites I have ever consumed. Such a powerful and unique flavor marriage, but ohmagod did it WORK.
Course 5 (Another goodie ala the chef):
Carrot and passion fruit (I believe) combined in a two-colored, one bite ribbon.
** I don't even have words. This was served on a tiny spoon - one little morsel, but WHAT flavor. And so beautiful!
Course 6 (Entrees):
With petit pois, smoked bacon pieces, and black trumpet mushrooms
** Both claws plus the tail were served - stunning presentation, tender yet meaty lobster, and a fantastic, simple sauce. The taste of the bacon and peas were also allowed to shine, and merged perfectly with the seafood. I had to resist a lick-platin' urge.
Soft Shell Crabs
With capers, and a highly complex and beautiful sauce
** This was a special - my date absolutely loved it. Exquisite, I believe, was his favorite description.
Course 7 (Palette cleanser, dessert):
We were given on tiny scoop of citrus-y ice cream with a fruit base - can't remember the details and I hate myself for it, because this was PERFECT - so refreshing. Served in a gorgeous dish - best presentation of the evening.
Course 8 (Dessert #1):
A new dessert on the menu, this had strawberries and a spiced ice cream, plus pistachios.
** Favorite dessert ever? It's possible! Refreshing, sweet, with a curious spice-punch and super tasty accompaniments.
Course 9 (Dessert #2):
Chocolate mousse on a devil's food cake crust, with avocado (yes!) creme.
** Again, you would think such combos wouldn't work (and I think I tasted sesame seeds in the accompanying sugar/cracker gem nestled atop the mousse) - but it really was outstanding. The mousse absolutely exploded with rich chocolatey flavor, but without being too much of a good thing.
Course 10 (The petits):
We were served 3 more little goodies with the check -
1) Home made peanut butter cup - yes, folks, it's beyond your wildest dreams. I could have eaten 20.
2) A little "smore" square - chocolate wrapped marshmellow, with a cruchy exterior. This was just OK - not a marshy fan.
3) Wrapped caramel - I am a caramel expert; it's probably my favorite flavor. Hands down, the best I've ever had.
Total damage, including tax and tip - $412
Final word - the best of the best, on every level. Providence rises above the scene-only BS in this town and delivers a top tier experience. We are lucky to have her.
5955 Melrose Ave.
Cross street - Wilcox