Providence is definitely our “go to” restaurant in Los Angeles. At the moment, it is one of the few fine dining restaurants in LA that delivers on every level with incredible cuisine and gracious plus knowledgeable service. There is a passion for fine wine and food that permeates the restaurant and is immediately apparent to the diner. As always, we just let Chef Michael do his thing.
Amuse – The Cocktail
From left to right – Mojito, Gin and Tonic with Lime and Greyhound Vodka. This is a familiar and satisfying beginning – almost like the start of a FL meal with gougeres and cornets.
Kadai (sea bream) sashimi with citrus, olive oil, chives and topped with Petrossian American Golden Imperial caviar (Sacramento Delta) – absolutely superb – exquisite fish handled with restraint
Scallop Sashimi with cucumber that had been compressed with orange flower water, a brush of soy, mint and topped with cucumber blossom from Yumin’s garden (the chef de cuisine at Providence) Talk about passion – it is so evident in every single ingredient on the plate and thank you Yumin for your garden.
Japanese welks (snails) on a taro root that had been prepared sous vide with sake, buckwheat barley, grated yuzu and little dots of port wine reduction. I never saw a menu and I wasn’t handed a written menu at the end of the evening. Every description of each dish was given verbally. Now imagine a very packed dining room and the patience of Steven, our server to describe each dish in detail – amazing. In terms of the dish itself, it was a textural masterpiece. There was a crunch from the barley, an almost chewy quality to the welks – somewhat like squid and a peppery component – not exactly certain what added that taste.
Uni tempura with burdock and a shiso leaf – my notes say Yippeee!!!! This was absolutely sensational – uni with burdock that was coated in tempura batter and deep-fried. Don’t even think about grease, there wasn’t any. We were instructed to wrap the shiso around the uni and eat it like a package. I was in uni heaven.
Matsutake with hamo, a quenelle of loup de mer and scallop, shallots and celery. To the side were two rolled strips of Kobe beef. This is presented as pictured below.
Then a broth made with bonito, chicken and pork was poured over the Matsutake and fish. The kobe strips were to be lightly “cooked” in the broth. Again, this was a dish with restraint – each element added to the whole without a ‘wrong” note.
Couldn’t resist taking a picture of just the Kobe,
Santa Barbara Spot Prawn with mussels, squid, baby bok choy, tomato confit.
The sauce is added table side – Thai red curry/coconut base. I was fine with this dish, but John can’t handle very spicy food and one taste was enough for him.
This is when I was blown away by the extra mile that Providence and Chef Mike will go to – Mike made another prawn dish for John asap. Santa Barbara Spot Prawns, Chayote Greens, Chanterelles and Shellfish Jus – he loved it.
Presentation of the Turbot Roulade – covered cloches, Spanish olive oil and fresh basil from Chef Mike’s garden.
Cutting of the basil
Turbot Roulade with baby basil. tomato, chorizo, unfiltered Spanish olive oil. Steven said something about “red and shiny,” but he was never able to give me an accurate description of what that meant. Alongside the turbot was a clam fritter. This was the only dish of the night that was a miss for me. The turbot just didn’t have enough flavor and texture for me.
Japanese eel, seared foie, porcini mushrooms and truffle crushed potato topped with an egg - this was an Oh My dish – absolutely perfect.
White Peach, Miso ice cream – as usual my ending notes are lousy – a lot of wine is always my excuse.
Wines at Providence – BYO
’00 Serge Mathieu Champagne–nice, clean and delicious.
’01 Corton-Charlemagne, Louis Latour–excellent, well aged white burgundy, a real treat.
’95 Chambolle-Musigny, Anne Gros–disappointing…not a lot of life, a bit thin, did not add anything to the meal, too bad
What a wonderful meal. Providence is an absolute must for anyone who cares about great food and exceptional service. This is not a restaurant resting on its deserved laurels. It is led by a passionate chef and every aspect of dining here reflects that passion and care.