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aoc or ortolan or grace or providence

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wife and i decided to finally try one of these places. we usually dont go to a finer place due to the economy and the urge to save money instead. but we said, its time we treated ourselves to a fine meal.
now...what do you all rec'd we go to? ive always wanted to try AOC but its doesnt seem to get much love lately.
if i go to ortolan or providence, it will be the basic tasting menu.
please steer me to the right place!
thanks!

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  1. This is pretty easy.

    Ortolan is out. No one eats there.

    This leaves Grace, Providence, and AOC are all great. AOC is very nice, but I wouldn't call it fine dining... If fine dining is in order, I don't think Providence can be beat.

    1. of the one's you mentioned, i've tried three of them: aoc, grace, and providence.
      first off, i could be happy dining at any of the three
      of those three, i liked grace and providence more than i liked aoc.
      no specific overwhelming reason, just personal taste. . . . .

      1. I may be in the minority when I say this but I don't think AOC should be mentioned in the same conversation as Providence and Grace. Dont know much about Ortolan. But if you are looking for a fancy special dinner in LA, you really can't go wrong w/ Providence.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TailbackU

          I agree. Ive been to all these places within the year. You know, I liked Hatfields the best. If I have to stick to the list, Id say Grace on Wednesday. Order ALL of the doughnuts.

        2. I've tried all but Providence, but based on all the firsthand reports of friends, and the board, I'd definitely go to Providence -- realizing of course that it's probably almost twice as expensive of A.O.C. and Grace.

          Ortolan can approach Providence in cost too, but I didn't find it worthy of those prices.

          All my visits to Grace have been sadly underwhelming. I want to love it. I love the room and the service. And it's around the corner from my house. But the food has never impressed me.

          I love A.O.C. for what it is. A great, delicious time. But if you're only going out for one splurge meal...why not make it Providence?

          1. I've tried all 4, and all within the last 8 months.

            Ortolan > Providence > AOC > Grace

            1. AOC is not a place I would pick if I were going to splurge just once. The food is good, solid, but rather basic compared to the others. The overall experience is not one I would consider special occasion fine dining.

              Grace...I wasn't impressed. I went once years ago, and never felt a need to return.

              Between Providence and Ortolan, there is no question the overwhelming favorite here is Providence. I've never been, so I can't say. But I will disagree with the other posters here and say Ortolan is also an excellent restaurant. (Although it is true, they are struggling for diners on weeknights...but that doesn't mean the food isn't good.) Providence is a little more creative, while Ortolan's smaller tasting menu offers more courses for roughly the same cost (actually a bit less), but I don't think you could go wrong with either place.

              1. Definitely either Ortolan or Providence--both feature chefs doing interesting and fantastic food, as well as nice atmospheres. Ortolan certainly needs the love more than Providence as, for some reason, it does not draw the crowds it deserves; however, it boils down to whether you want what, IMHO, is the best French or the best seafood currently available in L.A. As for the other two, while I really enjoy aoc, it is not a fine dining choice; in terms of Grace, I have to agree with wutzizname--I want to like Grace more than I do (talented chef, gorgeous room and lovely people) but it just has never clicked for me despite multiple visits over the years.

                1. I've eaten at all 4 restaurants.

                  AOC is not a "special occasion" restaurant; great food and wine though.

                  Grace is quite good, but pales in comparison to Ortolan and Providence.

                  Choosing between Ortolan and Providence is tough! Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either one; both offer exceptional food and service although I give Ortolan a slight edge for decor.

                  1. thanks everyone! i have narrowed it down to ortolan and providence...whichever one i choose i think i will go with their tasting menu. hmmm...maybe i should just flip a coin!