We had a tasting menu that Michael prepared especially for us – table of 6. There was no menu so Peter, our server, described the dishes to me. Michael’s cuisine has really evolved; his dishes are compelling, creative, complex with many ingredients, but focused. You don’t feel that there is a war going on with his dishes, as there is an underlying harmony.
Shrimp cocktail – cocktail sauce chip, celery, cocktail sauce consommé – we were instructed to eat the chip first, then the celery, then the prawn and finally wash it down with the consommé. This was a stunning dish. The chip was absolutely fabulous – a crunchy cracker that exploded cocktail sauce in your mouth. An absolute wow.
Aori ika – cuttlefish roulade of Perigord black truffles, black truffle vinaigrette, and a jelly of green chive made with agar. The combination of the cuttlefish and truffle was perfect. The dish was reminiscent of a Thomas Keller dish – less is more.
King Crab poached in Jurason wine with petit pois, reduction of Jurason wine with ginger juice, pea tendrils with small julienne of crispy deep-fried ginger on top – again pristine ingredients handled with finesse and the quintessence of spring.
Tarragon-butter poached Maine Lobster – on the bottom were sliced organic yellow beets, then the poached lobster with a cover of a gel sheet of yellow beets (again made with agar) and on top Alverta President caviar (from mature, white sturgeon farmed in Northern California) and crispy tarragon – an elegant, artistic dish that tasted as good as it looked.
Sautéed Foie Gras, rhubarb chip, braised rhubarb, lemon grass emulsion (citronnelle acidule) with a lemon and vegetable stock, mizuna – this was a hefty piece of foie without one hint of stringiness – it just melted in your mouth.
Roasted New Zealand John Dory, Carrot and Vadouvan sauce, Braised Purple Haze Carrot, Broccolini. The carrot and Vadouvan sauce was in a word delicious. I am not sure what the green puree is and additionally my notes say something about sherry reduction and coco nib.
Sweetbreads, Chinese 5 spice powder, sautéed Japanese spinach, applewood smoked bacon, pistachio, freeze-dried apricot “chips”. There were 2 sauces – star anise and Australian pepper berry glaze. This was a very aromatic dish with a gentle kick from the 5-spice powder, star anise and pepper berry.
Columbia River Salmon Belly, Washington Morels braised in soy, fava beans, asparagus spear, saucing of the braising liquid from the morels and chive/basil oil and on top of the salmon a generous portion of the crispy salmon skin. Again the ingredients ‘screamed” spring with the addition of morels, favas and asparagus. The crispy skin was better than a sushi bar salmon skin. Wonderful.
Colorado Lamb (saddle and tenderloin) cooked in salted butter, cippolini onions, artichokes, oven-roasted tomatoes, apple wood smoked bacon, watercress and a sauce of lamb jus. The photo says it all –beautiful rare lamb slices.
St. Nectaire, Dome St. Estephe, Pentu de l’Etang and one other cheese that I didn’t get the name.
Kalamansi soda with vanilla ice cream and mango gelee
Chipolte chocolate cremeaux with corn tortilla and chocolate streusel, pineapple gelee and an emulsion of avocado puree
Providence is one of the only fine dining restaurants in Los Angeles. It is such a pleasure to dine here and I look forward to every culinary experience.
NV Krug Grand Cuvee [1.5 L]
1997 Corton Charlemagne Reserve Domaine Marius Delarche
1979 Volnay, Le Roy
1996 Burgundy (Don’t know what was brought)
1998 Kracher, Scheurebe Trockenbeeren Auslese # 3 [375 ml]