“I had one of the best meals of my life at Providence,” said one of my former housemates who had (re) settled in LA post-college. And Cin is a foodie, so that was a high bar.
We took an Uber to the restaurant, which might have been a foreshadowing of how the evening would end. Hint: the staff was overheard saying, “they’re not driving, are they?”
The bar area was adorable. Cozy, yet hip. Fun, friendly staff who helped us kick off the evening in the right way – with a glass of prosecco!
Our amuse bouche were tasty, although I admit I flinched when I saw the “egg” on the spoon, really a fruit gel, but I swear I tasted yolk ….
Meanwhile, we were struggling with wines. The list was extensive and expensive. If it were just the two of us, I would be fine, but with the brothers in law, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. And then the sommelier gave us an unhelpful description of a pinot noir as “feminine.” (This prompted me to recount my MIL telling me – triumphantly, natch – that the wine we were sipping was elegant and refined. In stark contrast to me, of course.) But I guess our commentary and questioning was louder than it should have been because our sommelier poured our wine after that, but he did not engage us. Clearly, we had offended. oops.
The meal itself was progressing well, starting with a sashimi dish …
We added a spotted prawn, cooked in salt, carved table side, to the five course fixed menu. First impression: I thought spotted prawn were small, but what do I know? It tasted salty and maybe a bit cucumber-y, very much of the sea, delicious.
More seafood courses … grilled scallop …
… and a halibut that looked like it was the deconstructed cousin of my butter poached halibut at Gordon Ramsey … or maybe this is just halibut LA style:
Dessert was good, but as always for me, an after thought. The dark chocolate was slightly bitter and rich, with berries in contrast.
The funniest part of a terrific dinner – well there were so many. The thin-skinned sommelier, of course. But also our eventual server. In my mind, the staff had a huddle in the backroom to decide who could deal with us. It was clear we weren’t the nice, laid back clientele that usually patronize Providence. In fact, when we were offered coffee, we were offered cwah-fee, New York style. To be fair, I thought we were a bit out of hand, but not *that* bad.
In the end, Dieter (my name for him) bonded with us. I think it helped that I ordered a kirschwasser as a digestif. He said it keershvassair of course. And he was from Berlin. Having just been to Berlin, G and I blathered on with him and that seemed to ease the tension between us and the staff (I hope).
We had an excellent meal, a rollicking fun time and good, random conversation in a pre-birthday celebration with the brothers in law. A terrific spot for a special occasion or a romantic evening out, just don’t be less than deferential to the staff.