Friday, June 18, 2010

Providence - 5 Course Tasting for 2010! (Los Angeles)



It looks like this will be a my 2nd post in a 4 part Providence series, and while the iron is hot, I'll go over what diners might expect in their 2010 Anniversary 5 course tasting menu for $65.

As I mentioned my previous post, Providence is headed by Chef and Owner Michael Cimarusti who specializes in preparing elegant, yet delicious seafood dishes. While I wasn't "wowed" by my visit last year for their full tasting, I was excited to try Providence again with Diana of DianaTakesaBite.



While going over the menu, I started off with a gin based cocktail called The Aviation. The drink has a nice bite, yet still refreshing. It went pretty well with the upcoming tasting menu.

Trio of Amuse Bouche

Trio of Amuse Bouche

Cured Trout

Cured Trout - Trout Roe, Wasabi Marshmallow, Japanese Crackers

"Gin and Tonic"

"Gin & Tonic"



The trio were all refreshing and delicious, though my favorite has to be the cured trout with trout roe and a wasabi marshmallow. It was simple, yet flavorful and delicious. The "Gin and Tonic" I had previous on my last trip and the flavors are activated by a squeeze of the lime. It was icy and intense. Finally, I've had the liquid sphere on all my trips to Providence, so this was no exception. However, I've had the Greyhound and Mojito previously, and this was my first taste of the "Margarita." It definitely have the taste of tequila present in the sphere. Very nice!

Japanese Kanpachi Sashimi

Japanese Kanpachi Sashimi - crispy rice crackers, coriander and soy crème fraiche

We started off with the same starter as last time, the kanpachi sashimi. I appreciated the freshness of the fish used, and like last time, I enjoyed the texture contrast of the rice crackers and the creamy finish of the creme fraiche. The slices of fish were cut thick which I enjoyed, though Diana didn't like the texture as much as I did.

Hokkaido Scallop

Hokkaido Scallops - Japanese eggplant, ramps, reduction of vadouvan and sauternes, and cashews

Although I liked the preparation of the scallops on my previous visit, I thought this time was event better. I enjoyed the eggplant compliment and the creaminess of the sauce. The cashews added a nice texture contrast to the scallops. As always, the scallops was cooked to perfection!

Spaghetti alla Chitarra

Spaghetti alla Chitarra - Santa Barbara sea urchin, spot prawns and basil

Pulling a page out of kevinEat's repertoire, we added this supplemental dish, the Spaghetti alla Chitarra. Knowing that we were sharing, they split the dish nicely for us and each plate was filled with ample amount of pasta, spot prawns and sea urchin. I really enjoyed the taste of the sea urchin in the pasta and the sweetness from the prawns. Also, for those people that don't want to pay top dollars for a sea urchin pasta, I'd recommend visiting Spoon House in Gardena. That's where I usually get my Japanese style sea urchin spaghetti.

Wild Day-Boat Pacific Halibut

Wild Day-Boat Pacific Halibut - summer squash, black olive, dried apricot and crunchy basil

Even though I dislike olives and was slightly worried the inclusion of it in this dish, it wasn't a big issue. The halibut was cooked well and the squash and the basil I loved as the compliments to the halibut. I liked this much better than the halibut dish from last year.

Striped Black Bass

Striped Black Bass - almond paste, almonds, sweet peas, maitake mushrooms and finish of balsamic glaze

After not being a fan of the veal and seeing it on the menu, Diana and I both asked for a substitution, and I'm glad we did. This was probably my favorite dish of the night. First, I enjoyed the fish with a well cooked, crispy skin, yet the fish itself is flaky and tender. In addition, I loved the use of the peas to bring out more sweetness from the fish itself, while the mushroom added a nice woody taste. The balsamic glaze added a nice flavor contrast to the sea bass, as well as the sweet peas. All in all, a winner!

Yuzu Curd

Yuzu Curd - meringue, blackberry sorbet and jasmine

Eating this dessert really makes me want to return for Providence's 8 course dessert tasting. I really loved the tart flavors in this particular dessert. The blackberry/jasmine sorbet was fantastic, and the yuzu curd really put a nice ending to the meal. One of my favorites I've had here.



Finally, a trio of sweets to cap the night off. A pistachio nougat, white chocolate macaron, and a spiced chocolate marshmallow. All three were quite nice, but my favorite in the group was the macaron, though I seem to like any macaron I eat.



All in all, it was a fantastic meal, much better than I had expected going in. Although I enjoyed Providence on my previous visits, this was probably my best dinner experience yet. The 5 course dinner special is a great deal at $65, especially for the caliber of food being served. Although my next trip will be for the 8 course dessert tasting, I can definitely see myself coming back for another full tasting at Providence. You'll have until the end of June to take advantage of their 5 year anniversary special, so it's definitely worth the money and your time. Do it!

For another perspective, here's Diana's take on dinner at Providence

5955 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3623
(323) 460-4170
Official Website


weezermonkey said...

I don't think I could handle eight desserts!

This looks awesome, especially for the reduced price. Do you know how long the deal lasts?

Darin said...

Hey when did you go - I was just here last night!

Even if you're not a fan of veal, I would recommend trying it next time (or stealing some off someone else's plate). Their preparation of it is superb.

nelehelen said...

Great review! I'm going next Friday and I can't wait!

If you ever want to do the 8 course dessert tasting, I'm down! Let me know! Bistro LQ has a dessert tasting as well... mmmmmmmm

Ravenous Couple said...

nice rundown...this is still one place on our list to try. didn't know you dislike olives--wasn't too bad on the olive bread though right?

Anonymous said...

Looks like I'm going to miss out on this great deal this time around. Vern has decided that he'd prefer ESPN Zone to Providence for his birthday celebration!

kevinEats said...

I don't know if I can claim full credit for the "supplements" strategy, but I'll take it!

Have you had the full ~16-course tasting yet?

stuffycheaks said...

what??? you passed on veal? sigh

food je t'aime said...

you missed out on the veal! but I'm jealous you got macarons and marshmallows :( we didn't

Aaron said...

Haha, I can tell the difference between a recent review and one from a year ago. You were much better able to convey your experience this time.

Anna A. said...

Ah, so sad I missed out *spoon* what's, this Spoon House you say? Shall we?

Diana said...

8 course dessert tasting, here we come!

Had so much fun dining with you! :)

joanh said...

there's also good sea urchin pasta at blue marlin in west la...

i'm going to be in LA before the end of june! maybe i should catch it!!

Anonymous said...

We went this past Friday and had the same. The macarons were amazing. I wanted more!

kirbie said...

Thanks for getting this review out so quickly. I was hoping you would. I'm dining here this weekend and plan on trying the 5 course and wanted to be able to see it first. I'm so excited!

Bonnibella said...

That's a super deal for 5 courses. Lucky you!

Kung Food Panda said...

Ms. Monkey: The deal lasts until the end of June. There's a 3 & 5 course dessert tasting too, but I'm going to follow my motto: Go Big or Go Home! :)

Darin: I had the veal on my last trip, I wasn't too thrilled by it, but I'm sure I'll return soon and try it again. I loved the sea bass though.

Helen: Hope you'll enjoy your meal at Providence. Definitely will keep you in mind for the dessert tasting. Might be end of summer/early fall though.

Hong: I don't like olives, but your olive bread was just right! :)

Cathy: ESPN zone??? Come on Vern, get with the program! :P

Kung Food Panda said...

Kevin: You specialize in "supplements" I'll give you 'cred! LOL. I need to do the full tasting one day.....let me know if you're ever gonna do it.

stuffycheaks: I didn't like the veal at Providence last time so I decided with a substitution this time around.

Christina: They seem to switch around the mignardises. The veal I had last time was subpar, so I wasn't in the mood to try it again.

Aaron: Hahaha! It's true. It's sad I have such a large backlog.

Anna: You really missed out. Let me know about Spoon House!

Kung Food Panda said...

D: Pleasure was all mine! Let's do the dessert tasting soon!

Joan: I heard about Blue Marlin as well! Ya, try Providence!! Let me know what you think.

Anon: It was quite a satisfying meal!

Kirby: Have a blast at Providence!

Bonni: It's such a great deal, we added a supplement :)

Pandalicious said...

aw shucks, i missed out on this deal! but, so coming here for my bday!

Kung Food Panda said...

Amy: I think it's till the end of July now!