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Aug 25, 2004 08:07 PM

Patina - yuck

  • p

Went to Patina for my second time for lunch today. Horrible. Had half a dozen oysters, which were served over a ton of salt, perhaps to cover up the fact that they were not fresh. Yuck. Worse, one type of oysters that was served was incredibly bad. It was overly briny and almost sour. So gross I couldn't eat the second one. The other ones were barely palatable. Now, several hours later, I haven't quite been fully food poisoned, but I definitely had a few onslaughts of stomach nausea.

The salmon I ordered was also bad. It was supposed to have a crunchy layer of skin, but instead, the skin was so chewy I couldn't even cut it with my knife. It just slid off my salmon like a piece of rubbery plastic. The last time I came here, I had a piece of my friend's salmon and it was wonderful. How disappointing.

Consistency is key. I can deal if a restaurant is consistently bad. I'm ecstatic if it's consistently good. And I'm not unreasonable; as long as they stay within a reasonable range, I'll be happy enough.

But in my mind, to throw a curve ball as Patina did today is unforgivable.

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  1. At their price point, such substandard food is not acceptable. I had a similar bad lunch experience at Patina. Very bland food in hilariously microscopic portions at high prices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ernie

      Patina reminds me of airplane food.

    2. Patina seems to me to embody the old Woody Allen joke - two women on holiday in the Catskills are sitting at dinner. One turns to the other and says, "This food is horrible!" and the other says, "Yes, and there's so little of it!"

      1. I am very sorry to hear about your experience. We had our anniversary dinner there last month and had one of our best meals in LA. The service was flawless, the food (we had one of the prix fixe menus) was outstanding and paced perfectly. The sommelier when out of his way to open a bottle which was off the list, truly delightful, and about $35. I'd go back in a heartbeat, just not during the pre-theater rush.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Artsdoc

          I too had probably the best meal of my life there, but it was many years ago. I remember it vividly. Hopefully Patina will come back to its old glory--consistently.

          1. re: Artsdoc

            I continue to be amazed by the occasional good post on this restaurant, though I certainly do not question the sincerity of these posts. I have the ability to go to expensive places on someone else's dime with great frequency. The disappointments at Patina are so routine that I will not choose to even go for free any more. I have been to Patina many times at the request of others and it is almost hilarious that the experiences are monotonously the same. The wine steward can be very charming, and there are frequently very good waiters. But the overall tenor or the place is disappointing and I can't remember the last time (never?) that I had a great meal there. I actually get angry at the idea of charging so much, and doing it so pretentiously, for so little. The old Patina on Melrose remains such a great memory that every time I pass the street - often far from the old site - my stomach rumbles. I think this place needs to die a honorable death and let someone occupy the space who can actually do something with it. But with the business diners out to impress out of towners to close a deal it will sadly stumble on.

          2. I am no particular fan of Patina. And mediocre oysters are mediocre oysters. But the presentation on a bed of rock salt, which stablizes the shells and looks nice, is fairly traditional. You are not meant to eat it, not at all.

            2 Replies
            1. re: condiment

              oh, by no means was i intentionally eating the salt. i was trying to pick it out as much as i could.

              1. re: condiment

                I'm no fan of the "Oysters on Salt" presentation that seems to pop up every once in a while. I am a "slurper" when it comes to oysters (why miss the oyster liquor?), and when they are presented on salt, you can't help but get some with the oyster.

              2. I have eaten at Patina and had the cote de bouef. It was o.k., and in my humble opinion terribly overpriced. Is it just me, or does this restaurant have a boring feel to it? I know they are going for a classy look, but sitting in there for an hour is enough to put me right to sleep.