5955 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tel. +1 (323) 460-4170 


The Food:

Buri; Apple, Shiso, Lime

Finley Farms Snap Pea; Dungeness Crab, Caviar, Scallop

Pasta Mista; Squid, Spiny Lobster, Uni

Vermilion Rockfish, Kabocha, Chorizo, Green Onion

A5 Wagyu, Charred Kamo Eggplant, Nori

Fig; Fennel, Miso-Orelys

The Wines:

1996 Dom Pérignon Rosé P2 98
1996 Dom Pérignon P2 97
2002 Domaine Jean-François Coche-Dury Meursault 93
2009 Domaine Jean-François Coche-Dury Meursault 92
2017 Domaine Thierry et Pascale Matrot Meursault Perrières 1er Cru      94
1969 La Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or 1er Cru 89
1976 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 93
1974 Gaja Barbaresco Sorí San Lorenzo 94
1990 Haut-Brion 96
1949 Calon-Ségur 94

This recent dinner was a great opportunity to catch up with friends over a leisurely meal and enjoy some nice bottles. The food was off the charts, and the wines were pretty terrific too.

Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities in the United States. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching TV shows filmed in the City of Angels, or the sunny weather, or numerous rock songs that immortalized the city’s hot spots, or the time I spent here pitching investments in a prior life, but there is something about LA that I always find incredibly energizing. This is a city abuzz with energy, a place where things happen. So, I am always happy to spend time here visiting with friends.

The Buri (Yellowtail), with apple, shiso and lime is a wonderful starter on this tasting menu.

LA is a bit of unique food town. Although there is a lot going on in a scene that is arguably more dynamic than it has ever been, fine dining hasn’t always done so well here. Perhaps the city’s very spread out geography makes LA more conducive to more casual places. I am not really sure. What I do know is that this recent dinner at Providence was exceptional.

Finley Farms Snap Pea; Dungeness Crab, Caviar, Scallop.

Providence is located on Melrose Avenue, right across the street from Marino’s, one of my other favorite spots. Chef/Owner Michael Cimarusti’s cuisine melds together Italian and Japanese influences with a focus on seafood dishes that exalt the purity of his main ingredients. Every course on this tasting menu was exquisite. I especially liked the Pasta Mista, which was so delicious, with the pasta cooked perfectly, the seafood beautifully seasoned and prepared. I would have gladly eaten a second portion. The Finley Farms Snap Pea and Vermilion Rockfish were also sublime; both marked by precision and a wonderful transparency of flavor. I don’t eat much red meat these days, but the A5 Wagyu was terrific. Service was courteous and efficient, while the brisk pacing of the dinner was perfect for what I like, especially on a school night.

The Pasta Mista with squid, spiny lobster and uni is worth a special trip.

We start with two exquisite, utterly magical Champagnes. Dom Pérignon’s 1996 Rosé P2 is rich, vertical and explosive, with that combination of structure and inner perfume that makes it so alluring and so flat-out delicious. The 1996 Dom Pérignon P2 is another absolutely stellar Champagne. When it was first released, the 1996 was painfully austere, but time has added a great deal of flesh to match the wine’s vibrant, energetic personality. Both 1996s are magnificent. We are off to the races.

Coche’s 2002 Meursault is in a gorgeous place right now. Gently softened by the passage of time, the 2002 remains quite vivid and fresh, especially for a village Meursault approaching its 20th birthday. Ample, creamy and so inviting, the 2002 is impossible to resist. Even with all of its intensity, the 2002 retains that salty, mineral quality that is such a Coche signature. The 2009 Meursault is similarly rich and tropical, but also comes across as quite young next to the 2002, which is an ever-present reminder of how these wines can age. Although the 2009 is gorgeous, if I owned it, I would try to give it more time in bottle. The 2017 Meursault Perrières 1er Cru from Matrot rounds out this flight in style. Crushed rocks, lemon confit, white pepper and lime all grace a super-classic Perrières. Powerful and tightly wound, the 2017 demands cellaring, even if that is a tricky proposition these days when it comes to white Burgundy.

Vermilion Rockfish, Kabocha, Chorizo, Green Onion.

The Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or 1er Cru is very pretty for the first few minutes and then starts to fade. Orange peel, rose petal, spice, kirsch, mint, sage and sweet floral notes are nicely laced together. Fully mature, fraying at the edges, and a touch volatile, the 1969 needs to be enjoyed sooner rather than later. Faiveley’s 1976 Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru is a powerful, structured Burgundy. Mint, sage, spice and dried flowers add shades of nuance, but the 1976 remains rather tough and not especially charming, even with a bit of air. It has held up well though, and still has quite a bit of brightness.

A5 Wagyu, Charred Kamo Eggplant, Nori.

Gaja’s 1974 Barbaresco Sorí San Lorenzo is a powerful, burly wine with plenty of the brawn that makes Barbarescos from this site so incredibly distinctive. Scorched earth, leather, licorice, smoke and tobacco add to its decidedly virile feel. The 1990 Haut-Brion is exotic, flamboyant and super-expressive. Dark fruit, leather, licorice and grilled herbs are all amped up. Although the 1990 doesn’t quite have the aromatic depth and intensity of the very finest years, it is nevertheless a stunning, gorgeous wine of the highest level. Sweet dried cherry, tobacco, mint, dried flowers and licorice all grace the 1949 Calon-Ségur. Sublime, gracious and nicely mellowed by the passage of time, the 1949 is just exquisite on this night.

Fig; Fennel, Miso-Orelys.

Readers spending time in Los Angeles, especially in the Hollywood/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area should make a point of stopping by Providence. Everything about this night was about as perfect as it gets.