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Aug 12, 2010 01:57 PM

Patina or Melisse?

Thinking of one of these for a Saturday dinner. My dining companion would most likely want the vegetarian/pescatarian style tasting menu, would either of these restaurants accomodate this along with my desire for the regular tasting menu? I've noticed both have shorter veg tasting menus so I don't know if they'd be willing to match up courses, etc. Also, I'm just curious in general what others opinions on which has the better food. Please advise, thanks!

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  1. Melisse, hands down.

    I went a few weeks ago in a group of three carnivores and one vegetarian. We had no problem doing the vegetarian and four-course regular tasting menu, which allows a lot of selections plus substitutions from the various different menus. I am not sure if you could do the long tasting menu with a vegetarian menu, but you could call the restaurant and ask.

    My love for Melisse is well-known on this board. I think it consistently has the best food in Los Angeles. I've been four times in the past year and every meal has been exceptional.

    By comparison, my last visit to Patina was a few years ago and I was very underwhelmed. Ever since it moved downtown, I feel it has lost a lot of its luster. But I've also felt that most of the old Patina/Pinot restaurants have gone downhill from what they once were.

    1. Melisse! They will meet your needs whatever they may be.......

      1. I love Melisse too, but I'd love to hear from someone who has been to Patina since SIV's review. How does it stack up?

        4 Replies
        1. re: AAQjr

          Yes, that's what I was hoping for too. But at this rate(and Melisse extending their anniversary special for the rest of August), it looks like Melisse is gonna beat our Patina. I'll do my best to report back as soon as possible!

          1. re: baloney

            Patina has a new chef - Tony Esnault - who has been there since last summer. He's the real deal. I haven't tried it, but I feel confident it'll be quite good.

            That said, I've been to Melisse many times and you can't go wrong there.

            Another choice - especially because of the pescatore mention - is Providence. They do seafood better than anyone in town. If it's about seafood, then Providence would be my first choice. Just had a meal there recently - absolutely terrific.

            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              Although Providence is obviously a totally different kind of place than is the Water Grill, I don't think that I would say that either does seafood better than the other...they are just different. Water Grill serves pristine seafood prepared simply but beautifully. Overall it is certainly not the restaurant that Providence is, but for well prepared seafood, I think it can hold it's own against anyone in L.A.

              Patina has in the past year improved dramatically, and is now IMO one of L.A.'s best.

              Water Grill
              544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                I agree with foodiemahoodie. Providence is the ultimate in seafood in LA. Water Grill is straightforward and very good. But it's a clear notch down in terms of cooking (eg butter poached lobster at Providence vs steamed lobster at Water Grill). I'd go to Water Grill again for a great selection of raw oysters. I go to Providence for stuff like Santa Barbara spot prawns baked in salt barely scented with rosemary, the highest quality hokkaido scallops slightly poached in matsutake mushroom broth, spaghetti alla chitarra with santa barbara uni plus or minus shaved truffles, stripped bass with a pacific razor clam broth and kaffir lime, amazingly flavorful john dory with chanterelles...

                Water Grill
                544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          2. I'd vote Melisse, though it's been a while since I've been to Patina.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DarinDines

              I can now say I've gone to Patina. And to be honest with you, it has half great, half good. Very good overall and I'd like to go back, but I'd have to say Melisse was the clear winner. And yes, they can accomodate you. In fact, if you ask them to put together a tasting menu that is just fish - they can do that. Or fish and vegetarian - no problem. Providence can do the same. In fact I brought a date there who was vegetarian (last date for me!) and they did a great job for her. She thought it was the best meal she'd ever had in her life.

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Valentino's on Pico in Santa Monica can still bring it as well...