Providence is the most elegant, sophisticated and (along with The Bazaar) most inventive restaurant in Los Angeles. It has won all kinds of awards including two Michelin stars. Unfortunately, the high price tag prevents most of us from eating there regularly. But if you can afford it and need a restaurant to impress an important client or celebrate a special anniversary, or if you simply want to splurge and enjoy one of the best fine-dining meals you’ve ever eaten in LA, this is the place. The decor is elegant but not stuffy; minimal yet comfortable. There is an awesome wine list and the service (led by charming maitre d’ and co-owner Donato Poto) is impeccable. The food is exceptional and exciting. Each dish is a work of art. Â Simply put: this is a place where magic happens.
Chef Michael Cimarusti will start your meal out with a bit of complimentary molecular gastronomy; a plate of amuse bouches which on my last visit included a mojito gelee, a screwdriver cocktail gelatin bubble, a gruyere cheese puff, and a shooter of parsnip with port reduction on the bottom. The bread, which they will replenish throughout your meal, is excellent here, especially my favorite, a bacon brioche. The main theme at Providence is seafood and they serve some of the best and most beautiful seafood concoctions you will ever eat. I recommend ordering the tasting menu and putting yourself in Chef Cimarusti’s hands. However, if you instead decide to order specific items, make sure to get the Spot Prawns, which are baked in a block of salt and prepared tableside. I also recommend Bobby’s Block Island Scallops with Buckwheat, Dashi and Cabbage and the Spaghetti all Chitarra with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Green Onions. The menu is not strictly limited to seafood. If it’s available, I always order the Foie Gras Ravioli with Aromatics and Parmesan Black Truffle; it’s extraordinary. I highly recommend getting the wine pairing (remember, you’re splurging, so don’t hold back). Finally, make sure to save room for dessert. Adrian Vasquez is one of the top pastry chefs in LA; a true genius with sweets. Some of my recent favorites are his “Simple Apple Tart” with Hazelnuts, Cinnamon Calvados Ice Cream and Green Apple Sorbet and his Pumpkin Polenta with Candied Pecans, Mascarpone and Maple Syrup. Â Enjoy!
Providence is located at 5955 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (on the border between Hollywood and Hancock Park; near Larchmont).