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Aug 11, 2010 01:03 PM

A few questions about a Bday tasting menu choice (PROVIDENCE OR OSTERIA MOZZA)

For my 30th bday I can't go out of town because of work, so we're going to do two fancy foodie dinners to make up for it, two nights in a row. First night is at Cut, reservation made.

The second night I'm thinking either Providence Full Tasting menu or Osteria Mozza Pasta tasting. The main factors that are confusing me are price and assurance that I will love it. The thing is I am obsessed with pasta and I'm a huge italian food snob, having lived in Italy. I ate at Batali's Lupa in NYC, loved it, it was very authentic. But then I was very, very disappointed with Pizzeria Mozza, which isn't authentic italian pizza at all, in my opinion, and I think to be one of the most overrated restaurants in LA. Some say Osteria is quite different because its less Nancy Silverton's influence and more Mario's (where Pizzeria is the other way around). I do want to try Osteria Mozza some time and the pasta menu, I just would be sad if on my bday weekend I felt another disappointment. The price point is good though for bday dinner #2. I have been to all of the other lauded pasta places (I think: angelini, valentino, la bottle, il pastaio, piccolo in venice, drago) and want to do something new for this birthday and a tasting. Also a sucker for notching my michelin star belt.

Providence for obvious reasons, it is the number one restaurant in terms of prestige in LA. I am quite the epicure and would love to experience this, though I'd feel kinda bad socking my boyfriend with two bills of that magnitude in one weekend. I was thinking maybe if we did the tasting menu (110) but brought our own wine ($30 corkage) it would be acceptable. Would this be incredibly tacky? I just don't care *that* much about wine and can't drink more than 2 glasses anyway (the wine tasting pairings are a bit much wine, and unless someone rich is paying, not a good value from my perspective).

What do you say, chows?

I think I'm also going to Melisse with a friend to co-celebrate our respective bdays, but that would be another weekend (and my boyfriend not on the hook for that bill)

Thank you for any thoughts!

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Osteria Mozza
6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. Providence by default since I thought the sauces at the Osteria were incredibly salty. I had several glasses of water with my meal there. Providence is a 4 hour ordeal though so I'm not sure what way you want to swing.. Both places are pretty different.

    1. Pizzeria Mozza wasn't trying to be authentic Italian pizza as far as I knew. Batali and Silverton collaborated to create the pizzas. I am not sure you would find an authentic Italian pizza because Italian cuisine is actually made up of various regional cuisines. Pizza characteristically from Napoli is different from pizza from Sicily. If you don't like Nancy Silverton, she's kind of not just figuratively at the heart of Osteria Mozza, but also literally with the Mozzarella Bar--where you can often find her preparing items. Matt Molina and Batali both worked on the rest of the menu, but Molina is the executive chef. Batali lives in the Midwest where he spends most of his time along with New York.

      Pizzeria Mozza
      641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      Osteria Mozza
      6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      3 Replies
      1. re: apple7blue

        Apple7blue, it was my fault for assuming that any pizzeria Batali put his name to would be authentic Italian since I had put him on this pedestal in my head of Italian authenticity. Later I realized that may have been naive of me.

        I guess my issue is that I can't tell if my feelings about Pizzeria Mozza would apply to Osteria.

        As far as what constitutes Italian authentic pizza-that's a whole different chat board! I don't even want to go there right now : )

        I guess I'm leaning towards Providence now unless there is a better option I have overlooked.

        Hatfield's and sona's menu didn't jump out at me, Ortolan I will try another time for their $40 summer tasting, and Spago I've been to. Been to Gordon Ramsay at the London, The Langham is closed right now....

        176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        Pizzeria Mozza
        641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        1. re: sarahbeths

          Well Happy Birthday, you're 30 so you're supposed to be a solid adult and all--so I guess you aren't going to Baskin Robbins for some free ice cream?

          1. re: sarahbeths

            Sona is closed at the moment... and I personally love Hatfield's... However, I would go for Providence over Hatfield's any day. If you love seafood, then definitely go for Providence. I had the full chef's tasting and it was a 4 hour dinner. I suggest you supplement the foie gras ravioli if you can as it is amazing. Also, I have to note that I had the best veal of my life here.

            401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

        2. Happy 30th Sarah! I recently celebrated my own bday @ Providence and had the 9-course, $110 tasting menu. We didn't have the wine pairings and instead opted to have a cocktail as soon as we were seated. After drinks, dinner, tax & tip, it still came out a touch over $300. And rather than sticking Mr OCAnn w/all the meal bills we encountered over the weekend, I treated him.

          If you love seafood, you;'ll enjoy Providence's tasting menu. There were three courses which weren't seafood: the veal, cheese and dessert. And if you consider the trio of amuse bouche you'll receive, it's actually 10 courses. It definitely is a great meal, with uber-attentive service.

          Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your meal & report back!

          1. You really can't go wrong with Providence, the tasting menu is excellent. I don't think it is in good taste to bring in wine to a restaurant with a good wine list in order to save $ (it's only appropriate to bring if there's something special you want to drink that they don't have), but I also don't think you should feel compelled to order the wine pairings. Spouse and I don't drink very much, and we did not order the pairings any of the 4 times we've visited Providence and gotten the tasting menu. So I would say don' t bring wine unless you have a special bottle in mind, but only order as much as you want to drink (if at all).

            5 Replies
            1. re: Nicole

              I'm an extremely lightweight drinker and ordering a single glass of wine kept me content through Providence's excellent tasting menu. My husband did the wine pairing and it's a good thing I was driving as the pours were generous. From both a practical and savings standpoint, a glass or two each off their list is a better option than byo. I was guided to a reisling that I enjoyed a lot. (cause i'm a picky wine drinker with an embarrassingly narrow range of what I like, in addition to not wanting a lot of it)

              1. re: lrhr

                Update: I ruled out Mozza, thinking it's just too risky for this occasion though I will try another time with less pressure. I made a reservation at Providence, but then I scrutinized their menu and called them with a few questions....I realized I wasn't that excited to go based on the menu. It's kind of hard to explain, I really want to go there sometime, but their current market menu just wasn't that enticing for my tastes and I don't eat veal which was the last main course.

                I started to rethink the meal a bit and decided to go to Madeo, one of the few remaining high end Italian restaurants on my list. I read some really delicious reviews and got excited about the glitzy atmosphere that seems appropriate for the occasion. Like a little frivilous, but so are birthdays.

                Balancing with the 1 mich star Cut on bday dinner 1 and the 2 mich star Melisse at bday dinner 3, I think it's a well rounded Bday line up.

                Thanks for your help!

                Madeo Restaurant
                8897 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                1. re: sarahbeths

                  Hi sarahbeths,

                  In the future, if you get a chance to visit Providence, you might consider their Chef's Menu. It's essentially an open dialogue between you and Chef Cimarusti. You can specify whatever special requests you want (including things you don't like, e.g. veal), and the Chef's Menu really lets Providence display its full creativity, unbridled.

                  I hope you enjoy your time at Madeo. Happy Birthday. :)

                  1. re: sarahbeths

                    The best (and for us only) way at Providence is to go by the Chef's Menu which is every time outstanding. I would also highly recommend Osteria Mozza but wouldn't do the pasta tasting menu. We normally create our own tasting menu choosing two different dishes from every section of their menu and they are very good at pacing it in the right way for a tasting menu. Two other options for great tasting menus are Hatfield and especially Bistro LQ which for us is currently the best and interesting restaurant beside Providence. We normally go there any they don't give us a menu anymore but the chef knows that he will create an outstanding and truely spantanuous tasting menu.

                    1. re: honkman

                      I totally agree with you regarding Bistro LQ. I absolutely adore that restaurant and Chef Laurent always has new and interesting items on the menu!

                      Bistro LQ
                      8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048