Providence Restaurant is one of the few restaurants in Los Angeles that is a special dining experience. It is elegant from the decor to the service to the food With tasting menus starting at $150, it is a restaurant that is typically saved for special occasions and celebrations and for the average diner it is not a weekly destination. But, in honor of their 10th anniversary, for the month of June (and perhaps it will be extended thru July), Providence is offering a 4 course tasting menu for $80.
The anniversary menu is a selection of 4 items from the 9-course Market Menu ($150). But, don’t let 4 courses fool you as the meal starts with 3-4 amuse bouche. A fellow foodie friend and I rushed out to Providence on June 1st for the first night of this special anniversary menu.
The first amuse is Cocktails in a Bubble, made with basil seeds, yuzu, elderflower and champagne. Refreshing and tart, you slide the “bubble” in your mouth and your palate is awakened.
The second amuse was tacos. Scallop tartare and sushi rice and placed inside a nasturtium leaf.
The third amuse is globes of filo dough with house cured and smoked salmon, dill snow and creme fraiche.
Just before we ate our salmon, we were presented our fourth amuse, shumeji mushrooms in a small cup of smoked Halibut soup with French butter. So decadent, it was like drinking a small cup of rich melted butter.
After four amuse bouche, it was time for the first official course – sashimi of white fish with radish, lime, burdock and a shallots and yogurt powder. The flavors, like every other dish, are delicate, elegant and balanced.
Before our next course came out, we did order two items a la carte. There was just no way to turn down the salt roasted spot prawns. As the cart was rolled to our table, the smell of rosemary filled the air. Table-side, our server meticulously uncovered one prawn at a time, wiping the salt off and then placing it on a wood board where is split is down the middle and then drizzled a delicate, aromatic olive oil from Provence.
We also ordered The Ugly Bunch, a regular dish included on the Seasonal Tasting Menu. Assorted shellfish, including uni and geoduck are on a bed of smoked creme fraiche panna cotta with flowers and gold flakes. The dish is nothing like the name and the smoked creme fraiche panna cotta is creamy and rich and we ate every single drop.
After veering off course, we were back to the Anniversary Menu and had the pan seared scallop from Japan with English peas, cherry blossom and puffed buckwheat. The scallop is rich but there are also sweet notes that shine through.
For the fourth course, you can choose between duck, wagyu beef (for an extra $50) or wild king salmon, which we did. The salmon is almost rare on the inside and melts in the mouth. The fava, almond and morels add texture and earthy flavors. Paired with a glass of 2011 Domaine Bruno Claire Marsannay (Pinot Noir) was sheer perfection.
At this point, we were completely full but we managed to find room for the final course of dessert – Chocolate Caramel Cremeux with milk chocolate ice cream, passion fruit chantilly. The passion fruit cream added a bright tartness that elevated the rich, creamy chocolate.
Of course, just as the meal starts with amuse bouche, it ends with mignardes of Rum coconut chocolate, strawberry macarons and sencha citrus green tea pate fruit.
Just as we were about to roll ourselves out of the restaurant, we were presented with a zucchini marmalade muffin to enjoy for breakfast the next day.
Happy Anniversary Providence! May you celebrate another 10 years and keep serving us some of the most deliciously beautiful dishes!