Restaurant: Providence [1, 2, 3, 4]
Location: 5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. (323) 460-4170
Date: April 21, 2018
Cuisine: Cal French
Rating: Awesome food
Foodie Club core members Fred and Erick wanted an excuse to open some of our really serious whites and so we set up another Providence meal.
While the colors are different, Providence still looks a lot like Patina to me — as the layout is basically the same.
The bar has this blue and gold thing going on.
Tonight Erick, Fred, and I decided to go with “big gun” white Burgs.
From my cellar: 2009 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. VM 94. Deep but bright aromas of crushed stone and cherry-almond. Fat and opulent; stuffed with soft citrus, spice and stone flavors. A wine of impressive volume, power and fullness but rather backward today. Finishes with lovely balance and superb length. Despite the wine’s sheer size and ripeness, the <em>terroir</em> of Rougeots dominates the vintage.
Erick brought: 2002 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Meursault Les Narvaux. VM 92+. Pale yellow. Perfumed nose combines minerals, flint, smoke and a roasted nuance. Superconcentrated yet downright elegant, with strongly mineral flavors of lemon and liquid stone. Finishes with superb length and lemony cut.
agavin: these official scores do not reflect the (superlative) quality of these serious whites from one of Burgundy’s best producers.
Fred brought: 1999 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers. sadly, this bottle was corked 🙁
We bought this off the list because it was below retail (due to recent inflation of Liger).
2015 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée La Colombiere. VM 91. Healthy red-ruby. Blackberry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by a gamey nuance. Plush and classically dry, with smoky and saline qualities and a touch of animal fur reduction that currently blocks the wine’s fruit. This, too, will be racked soon.
Fred’s backup: 1985 Maison Leroy Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru La Richemone. BH 91. A highly expressive and nicely airy nose offers up notes of sous bois, spice and warm earth that merge seamlessly into delicious, round and impressively complex medium full flavors that are still underpinned by noticeable if integrated tannins that are mildly rustic on the focused and persistent finish. This is a most satisfying if not especially elegant wine that should continue to drink well for years to come. In a word, lovely. Note that this bottle was definitely fresher than another that I tried in four years ago.
The menu we ordered tonight.
Amuse of crudites. Mussels and various root vegetables (like radishes) along with a bit of dipping sauce.
Scallop, geoduck, sea beans, caviar.
A bit of a zoom in so you can see it better. Notice the generous blob of caviar. And I guess those little green things are the sea beans. This was certainly a nice bite with real brine and interesting textures.
Providence has nice house-made bread.
And Normandy Butter, although it was a bit cold.
Spider crab, truffle butter, crab-infused soy milk. This looks like a ravioli, but the pasta is actually a bean curd made from soy milk. The whole thing was delicious.
Spot prawn with xo. The head was good for sucking out the juices.
But the caviar studded body was the real winner. Absolutely delicious, particularly with the salty, umami-laden xo sauce.
Black mouth chinook salmon, shunkyo radish, nasturtium, vadouvan. Everyone loves nasturtium these days. Very nice delicate salmon.
Black cod, Japanese turnip, clam, ginger. Straight fish dishes like cod are sometimes boring, but the clam brought out some complexity.
Duck & sweet pea tortellini, duck heart, mushroom consommé. A very lovely “French” take on tortellini en brodo.
Foie gras supplement, with olives and almonds. One wouldn’t have thought that olives and almonds was a good foie pairing but this was a first rate dish.
A5 Wagyu, delta asparagus, coastal onion, lime. A nice hearty rich slab of beef.
Providence has a real cheese cart.
Our custom cheese plate of strong and gooey (for the most part) cheeses with some scrumptious condiments.
Ginger, tomato, soy. An unusual dessert flavor pairing but totally worked.
Rhubarb, creme fraiche, meringue. A bit like strawberry rhubarb and cream. Very tart and a lovely combo.
Bergamot, assam, alpaco. These “rocks” were ice cream and absolutely delicious — although very unique and herbal in flavor.
Petit fours of macarons, gels, and chocolates. All unusual.
A little breakfast cake to go.
This was a great night and lots of fun. It was also the best meal I’ve ever had at Providence and really first rate. Tonight’s dishes were delicious and memorable. Maybe not as memorable as dishes at the very best restaurants, but way more so than I usually find Providence dishes. Plus our service was impeccable and our wines amazing — if we do say so ourselves.
After growing used to the more rustic and less buttery more casual places that dominate LA these days Providence does feel a bit old school. But I still like the tasting format, particularly in Europe at playful top places like Azurmendi and they are clearly still changing things up on a continual basis.