Providence restaurant, LA

Michael Cimarusti’s Providence is one of the two restaurants awarded with Michelin 2 star in Los Angeles.    For someone whose perception on a restaurant is highly influenced by its ambience, Providence, with its no-flair interior, has won me over with its food and has remained No.1 on my list, defeating many restaurants whose interior has charmed, tempted and dazzled me. ( I dined at this restaurant during pre-blog time, and therefore have to borrow photos from the web.   I take no credit in photo taking)  

The meal has a charming flow punctuated with innovation, variety, and surprises that keep diners interested.  I am going to bring attention to the most memorable dishes.  We ordered a tasting menu that started with amuse bouche- Greyhound & Mojito, two spoons of cocktail jelly and Gin&Tonic Gelee.  The combo woke up your palate while leaving a clean finish.  I personally found it more refreshing than aperitif.  Little surprises like this delighted my dinning experience.   

Photo from Yelp. Not me

Santa Barbara sea urchin served in a farm fresh egg, champagne beurre blanc, fines herbes” (with cavier)   For sea urchin lovers, it’s not far-fetched to liken sea urchin to “foie gras of the sea.”   Sea urchin’s unique taste was enhanced by explosion of egg’s creamy texture, which was exhilarating to the taste buds.   

photos from yelp.

 Unagi, summer truffle, crushed potato, quail egg.  This was another example of exceptional texturing.   Each element of the dish taunted and gratified each layer of gluttonous desires.   Unagi’s cooked to its best  where its suppleness and firmness were both kept.  Truffle’s elegant aroma and taste and egg’s earthy charm enraptured the senses.  The variety is engaging.  

From yelp

Often, a restaurant loses my interest when main courses actually arrive.  often time, freshness of the meats plays a bigger role than culinary expertise in my point of view, and there seems to be less room for creativity.   It’s usually a rack, a piece, or a chunk of meat with sauce and/or garnish.  There are times I like my steaks plain and simple; there are other times, and actually a lot of times, I long for an edge to my meal.   So when providence put “twists” to the usual main courses, I was grateful.  

Niman ranch pork belly, carrot-orange puree, pickled ramps and columbia river king salmon, kumquat, peas, jurancon both exemplified providence’s creativity.    Carrot-orange puree and Kumquat, pea, jurancon both solved my tasting crisis.  Pork belly, like prime rib, is often some kind of quandary, as it often starts out lusciously delectable and then grossly overwhelming.  The carrot-orange puree served to control the richness of pork belly, making it palatable when it started to become overwhelming.  Orange’s opulent sweetness was managed by carrot’s vegetable subtlety and further fine tuned by puree’s texture.   The jurancon mixture enlivened salmon.   Of course, for some people who favor gastronomic traditions, it can be a blasphemy.  

 Providence has an intimate and cozy vibe to it.  It’s hip with laid back charm.  It’s a good place for a casual gathering with friends, as well as a date that will sure leave an impression.     

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~ by anita314 on April 25, 2010.

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