Providence

6/27/11My first time at Providence was the week before this dinner (6/20/11) at the Four on Fish special event hosted by Opinionated About Dining (I haven’t gotten the photos taken by Linh-Nam yet, so in the meantime I refer you to KevinEats for the details of that dinner). I had actually planned this dinner before being invited by Eugenia and Linh-Nam to Four on Fish, so I had assumed that this would be my first dinner at Providence. The restaurant had their annual anniversary month 5-course menu at a discounted price ($70 – usually it’s $95 I believe), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to experience what the two-star Michelin had to offer without breaking the bank. However, since my man date Lawrence knew I was easy (with respect to excessive ordering, and maybe in other aspects too), he talked me into getting the chef’s menu – around 15 courses at $175. And it began…

mojito, screwdriver

I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo of Providence’s most famous amuse bouche. The mojito was in a refreshing gelee form, and the screwdriver was a nice and sweet spherification.

Hama Hama Oysterbeau soleil oysters – jalapeno, cilantro, lime

The printed menu which we received after the dinner has this as beau soleil, but the server told us that the oyster was hama hama. First time I’ve had hama hama – the oyster was plump and juicy.

Abaloneabalone

The abalone was marinated in miso and grilled over charcoal. If this was only an option at yakitori…

Squid and Chorizosquid and chorizo

Same goes for this one. I was surprised at how well the squid and chorizo complemented each other. Sorry for the poor photos (I used an iPhone 3gs).

Kanpachikanpachi – red shiso pearl tapioca, cucumber, enoki

Nice and refreshing dish. The little tapioca pearls went well with the kanpachi.

Hokkaido Scallop Sashimihokkaido scallop sashimi – layered with nasturtium, whole grain mustard, and egg salad

I have no idea how the three items on the dish (scallop, mustard and egg salad) fit together, but I liked this dish. Guess this is why I’m not a chef.

Uniuni – eggs, champagne, caviar

One of Chef Cimarusti’s signature dishes. This was so good! I had a variation of this at Four on Fish (there were brioche crumbs in lieu of the caviar), and was thinking about it that entire week. I’m so glad I got to eat this again.

Spot Prawnspot prawn – smoked, brown butter, bitter herbs

I had hoped to have the spot prawns that was served tableside, but this didn’t disappoint. At first I was worried that the prawn looked a little overcooked – wasn’t the case luckily.

Sweetbreadsweetbread – puree of petit pois, white asparagus, summer truffle

These were veal sweetbreads. Offal-ly delicious.

Grilled Freshwater Eelgrilled freshwater eel – bone marrow, grilled green asparagus, sunchoke puree

Another one of Chef Cimarusti’s specialties. The soft coin of bone marrow was a great contrast to the crispy unagi.

Salmon Bellysalmon belly – cherries, morels, arugula

Salmon, really? My thoughts about having salmon in fine dining are, like having chicken, suspect. Not sure how this was the belly (it was rather lean), but like all other dishes that night, tasted great.

American Wagyu Beefamericna wagyu beef – fava beans, porcini, turnips cooked in dashi, dashi butter

In contention for best dish of the night – amazing given that Providence is a seafood restaurant. The wagyu almost melted in my mouth.

Cheese Selectioncheese selection

I know nothing about cheese, so we left the selections up to the server (with the exception of the the bleu cheese on the top right – Lawrence’s call). The varieties were all very bold and pungent. Not a fan of cheese courses, but this was pretty good in general.

Grapefruit Tarragon Sorbetgrapefruit tarragon sorbet – yogurt espuma

The v-sorbet, I mean, grapefruit sorbet was tart and refreshing.

Mochi Cakemochi cake – blackberry & litchi, coconut, kaffir lime, soy milk ice cream

Like with the uni, a variation was served at the Four on Fish dinner. The mochi was good, and the ice cream tasted like frozen Asian soy milk. If you mixed everything on the plate, it tasted like a Taiwanese shaved ice dessert in my opinion.

Milk Chocolate Whiskey Panna Cottamilk chocolate whiskey panna cotta – coconut raviolo, oreo coconut streusel

The server said that there was Bailey’s Irish Cream in here, and it was pretty evident. If I only had this “pudding” at recess back in the day…

Petit Fourspetit fours

Bamboo Genbamboo gen

STRONG drink, my second of the night. I’m not a wine pairings-type of diner, so I prefer to get cocktails if I want alcohol. My first drink was the dorian gray, another strong drink. Both were good, not fruity at all.

Chef's MenuThe chef’s menu is definitely the way to go at Providence. Not only do you get a wide variety of what the restaurant has to offer ingredient and technique-wise, I feel that there was a lot of love and thought given to the progression of the meal. Our meal was about three hours, and I felt that each course was served at an appropriate time after the previous one had been finished. Service, which doesn’t factor into my grade, was fantastic as well. Definitely a place you’d take a date to be pampered.

Chris Hei grade: A

Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170

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3 thoughts on “Providence

  1. omigosh, chris….15 courses?????????? that’s waaaaaaaaaay too much!!!! such a piggly wiggly you are!!! that uni dish looks interesting!! you should try to make it!!

  2. […] have been surprised that Chef Zarate’s food was on par with the three other chefs (Cimarusti, Urasawa, Lefebvre) that night. And when the chef came over to our table and told us about his […]

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