Providence LA


Providence had long epitomized the peak of fine-dining in Los Angeles. Ever since I made my first visit in 2011, I’ve been captivated by their culinary ethos and seafood-centric concept. In fact, this is the only restaurant where I made my annual pilgrimage since that time.

Dinner on this particular night was exceptional and bested my meals at Somni, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin by far despite the fact that Sergio was nowhere to be found. Over the years, Providence had come a long way. Their menu, and especially the desserts, are more creative than yesteryears along with a new focus on delivering better bread service. Rather than offering a variety of good bread like they did before, only 1 (excellent stuff) is now on offer. It’s freshly baked in the beginning of service and served piping hot! For the time being, this will remain as my favorite restaurant in LA.

As far as service goes, it’s excellent by LA standards but still lags far behind that of NYC and SF’s. On multiple occasions, my wine pairing came after my course arrived. Moreover, the same food runner never got back to us, twice, about details of a course that he couldn’t answer when he told us that he would find out. Lastly, one or two servers were speaking so softly when describing each course as if they were whispering to us. Overall, these are minor quibbles, but I’ve never had that problem at the two aforementioned elite cities of fine-dining mecca so there’s room for improvement for Providence.



a christmas themed chef’s table



new and improved water cups (no cats were harmed)





amuse bouches #1: mushroom, cream, cayenne, white wine
highly refined campbell that tastes like a million bucks


amuse bouches #2: yellowtail, puffed rice, nasturtium, creme fraiche, chipotle
delicately spicy and smoky without overwhelming the fish


amuse bouches #3: cod, nori, saltine
smoky, buttery, and meaty



amuse bouches #4: uni, egg, and caviar tartlet
egg on egg on egg action but the saltiness of the caviar slightly overwhelmed the uni



amuse bouches #5: wagyu, ume, phyllo
a perfect interplay between the tart notes of the ume and shreds of braised wagyu stuffed inside the crunchy phyllo “cigars”


buri, tangerine dashi, compressed melon, fatalii
delightful notes of heat, salt, acid, and sweetness to go with the buttery fatty yellowtail





red fife sourdough, normandy butter infused with nori x4
this is actually less sour than the typical sourdough but the star here is the super crunchy outer crust and the crack-like nori butter. the inside is very moist but could be a touch more fluffy. when it’s all said and done, i ate 2 boules by myself!




aiori squid, squid ink mouselline, pickled ginger
the citrus scented ika is so meaty, it eats like a steak




spiny lobster, carrot, coconut, curry, puff sorghum, kaffir lime
a generous amount of sweet and succulent lobster sits on a curry sauce that reminds me very much of panang



bonus: spiny lobster antennas
smoky and perfectly grilled(?)



nancy’s down east scallop, turnip, black truffle, pea
textbook seared scallop sitting atop a creamy and decadent black truffle sauce and topped with julienned truffle





vermilion rockfish, spanish chorizo, tahitian squash
the saltiness from chorizo and sweetness of the squash complemented the meaty rockfish very nicely





swordfish, herb dashi, sunchoke, truffle
the perfectly cooked fish is crusted with truffle and eats like a steak while the delicate herbaceous dashi flavored the sunchokes 2 ways (fried and pureed)





a5 wagyu, slow-roasted and fermented cabbage, trumpet mushroom, sauce au poivre
absolutely scrumptious and melts in your mouth




cheese cart


cheese, guava & apricot jam, walnut, dried apricot
funky, smelly, and taste like feet


creme fraiche granita, ginger ice cream, pichuberry, apple
refreshingly pleasant ginger flavor goes excellently with the tang of the creme fraiche while the compressed apple and pichuberry lend a slightly spongey texture variation to this palate cleanser



pear, sponge cake, spice ice cream, caramel tuile, cream
this is much like an elevated poached pear dessert with a variety of textures and complexities (crunch from tuile, spongy texture from the cake, smooth mouthfeel from cream) added in to break up the monotony of the OG rendition





kouign amann, dulcey “foie torchon”, hachiya persimmons 2 ways
an ingenious dessert that blew me away! the dulcey “foie” flavor reminds me of the real deal and it’s a perfect spread for the classic crunchy yet chewy kougin amann. in between these rich bites, you can refresh your palate with either the fresh persimmon or the equally delicious persimmon sorbet that’s spiked with calamansi



the interior of the kouign amann can be softer and more buttery


mango gelee, creme brulee tart, raspberry chocolate bonbon


parting gift: cinnamon muffin



Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

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Love this place. The food is pretty much always stellar. But I agree that the lack of service levels commensurate with the cuisine will continue to deny Chef Cimarusti and Mr. Poto their third Michelin star.

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supposedly, mcchelin’s :star: has nothing to do with service and i concur after my excursion in hong kong and macau…service there is non-existent

Nice, this photo spread explains quite a few things for me. Up here in Northern California we have The Sea by Alexander’s (seafood restaurant for Alexander’s Steakhouse) where the executive chef worked at Providence before and I can see some inspired touches from this post (although I’m sure Providence is far far better).

Now I know where to bring white burgundy, Alsace Grand Cru, and good sake to play around with! The wine pairing choices of pour are quite interesting too! The sake Jokigen Junmai Ginjo comes from a wine distributor/importer.

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$75 per person. Batched cocktails and wine available. Pick up times start at 4PM.

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In case someone needs a video tutorial to heat up this week’s offerings.

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Damn…that looks delish!

Have reservations here for me and gf anniversary, but don’t want to break the bank on wine pairing (am young guy)…Any suggestions on a bottle to bring, maybe even sake?

I actually suggest getting 1 wine pairing to share. You get about 10 different wine/sake for $100 which is well worth it considering that corkage is already $50. Providence is also very generous with their pours so 1 pairing is more than enough wine for 2 people.

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cool, so you’re allowed to do just one pairing instead of two?

Correct.

TLDR: For a takeout, this is absolutely top notch especially the smoked salmon add on.

alder wood smoked king salmon, blini, brioche, everything bagel brioche

Great stuff. Not too salty, lightly smoky, firm flesh with a smooth mouthfeel.

My favorite of the three is the brioche. It’s quite buttery with a light crumb and a paper thin crust.

guindillas | pickled peppers, olive, anchovy

octopus gallego | marinated octopus, pimenton, steamed potato
as good as the octopus is, the rich and creamy flesh of butterball potato is the real star of the dish to me

smoky from the slight char and quite tender

pan de aceite | olive oil bread, whipped sheep’s milk cheese
Nice olive oil flavor on the bread but it can be softer and more moist on the inside. On the other hand, the thick but spreadable sheep’s milk cheese is bold and tangy. I’m usually not a fan of cheese but this one won me over.

striped bass a la pipperada | sweet peppers, tomato, garlic, olive oil, lomo
Delicious. Fish is perfectly cooked with flaky and meaty flesh. The accompanied olive oil emulsified sauce is sweet and tangy with a surprisingly silky mouthfeel.

basque cheesecake | harry’s berries strawberry preserves

almond turrón
Almost like a marshmallow studded with crunchy and roasted almonds

It’s a bit sweet for me and I can feel a bit of ice crystals so I suppose they didn’t use their pacojet! Also, it melts quite fast so I suppose there isn’t or enough stabilizers.

Update: After freezing it overnight, the flavor balance is now very good so my perception of this ice cream changed completely. The cold counteracted the initial sweetness quite a bit and an almost floral like vanilla and rich milky flavor are now on the forefront. Every now and then, my palate is reset by hits of salty caramel notes so I keep going back for more! I would be more than happy to get another pint next week.

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Was the ice cream an add-on?
Did your cheesecake ooze?
Lovely plating!

Thanks!

Yup. $10/pint.

Nope. It’s more of a soft and creamy creme brulee texture.

1 Like

@moonboy403 great post but hidden in all that, you generally don’t like cheese? :flushed:

Forgive this rube for not liking the funky smell and taste of feet like bleu cheese or gooey ones like epoisse and camembert. :nauseated_face:

I prefer the more mild ones like mozzarella, burrata, and parmagiano reggiano.

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Oh so you do like some cheese, just not the smelly funky gooey ones.

The reason why I asked is because other than old first generation Asians I’ve met very few people that dislike cheese and you seem to eat out at many a fine establishment so I figured you’d encountered many cheese carts in your lifetime.

Gah! That elderly label’s coming on strong!

On a more serious note, I’ve certainly encountered many, but I’ve always asked for a dessert substitute unless it’s a composed cheese course which I find much more enjoyable.

Take these two recent ones I had even despite their boldness/aroma:

buffalo milk cheese, mustard greens, apple-pear-quince puree - Saison - delish

tomme dolce(goat’s milk cheese), white alba truffles, black trumpet duxelle, sourdough sauce - Singlethread - absolutely scrumptious and worth every penny even though it was a supplement

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