Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 14, 2010 02:12 AM

30th Birthday Dinner in LA suggestions - Providence v. Cut

I am in sincere need of some help from my fellow gourmands here on Chowhound. My bf's 30th's birthday is coming up and I wanted to take him somewhere special for this birthday in LA. I've done a ton of reading on this board and I think it's maybe come down to Providence or Cut. I know they are both north and south of each other and if it was a simple choice of seafood v. meat, it would be easy. But I wanted to look for an experience where my bf could look back in 10 years and say, "Wow, that was a meal." I haven't been to either, so I have no frame of reference. If anybody who has been to either restaurant, or any other "birthday destination restaurant" could offer me perspective, that would be much appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Providence is a serious restaurant, Cut is a serious cash cow.

    Instead of Cut, you might consider Animal. See for a Providence/Animal comparison. The discussion there -- and other threads on this board -- should help you decide whether you're an Animal or Providence couple.

    Congrats to your boyfriend for having such a thoughtful main squeeze!

    3 Replies
    1. re: hnsbmg

      Thanks! Yeah.. I'm trying, my boyfriend took me to SAAM for my birthday so I'm hoping to take him to somewhere memorable as well. Have you been to Animal, any recommendations?

      1. re: JanusSoCal

        Animal: Anything from the belly of the (porky) beast, the quail with grits, ....

        Providence: Pay close attention to exilekiss, below, and choose a customized Chef's Menu. I've never tried an all-foie-gras dinner there, but I did have something similar once at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, and the concept is deliciously sound, not overwhelming, with the right kitchen. If it still sounds like too much, you should really get at least a foie-gras course, but the best plan is to go with whatever appeals to your taste -- Providence will elevate it to your mind.

        1. re: hnsbmg

          Thanks for all the great info Hnsbmg!

    2. I agree, Providence is a beautiful restaurant with impeccable service. I've been many times and have had all good experiences. The time I went to Cut, I was rushed and coerced into buying the most expensive items on the menu by the waiter who was a buffoon. Then everyone at the table received the wrong steaks. What a disaster. Ridiculously expensive to boot. Animal is another great choice too!

      4 Replies
      1. re: frank21864

        Thanks Frank! Any thoughts on whether I should get the Five Course, Full Tasting, or Chef's Tasting Menu?

        1. re: frank21864

          Cut is a beautiful restaurant, Providence is if you feel that white tuck n roll upholstery is what you are looking for.
          Hatfield's is a beautiful restaurant, has better food and a wider variety of food, and thus the seafood vs. meat discussion is not an issue.
          Go to Hatfield's.
          You will return.

          1. re: carter

            Hatfield's.. a new factor to the equation. Is tasting menu the best way to experience Hatfield's, or a la Carte? And any must-gets there?

            1. re: JanusSoCal

              As funny as it may seem, I have never had an item on the Hatfield's menu, be it appetizer, entree or dessert, that I would not reorder.
              Go with what you want to eat. Have never tried the tasting menu as I never had any companion that also wanted to do so.
              The croque madame is a signature appetizer, and truly must be experienced.
              Beyond that, go to their menu and take a look at what Quinn and Karen are currently offering, and see if anything sounds appealing.

        2. Hi JanusSoCal,

          The Chef's Menu at Providence really allows you to create a customized dinner with any special request you have in mind (to make it that much more special). :) It also allows Chef Cimarusti to get completely creative. If you or your BF enjoy a specific protein, vegetable, ingredient, you can request it to be incorporated into your Chef's Menu (just let them know in advance). :) For example, on Hound had an All Foie Gras Chef's Menu(!) last year and it sounded amazing.

          They also have great desserts (as part of the Chef's Menu) and you can request any specifics for that portion as well. Enjoy~

          4 Replies
          1. re: exilekiss

            Thanks exilekiss! So, do you just call them over the phone, say you want the tasting and make your special request? Wow.. I mean.. do you really mean anything? My boyfriend is a big fan of Uni and Red Meat.. do you think it would be strange to try to ask them to incorporate that in their tasting menu? I always feel a little intimidated when I make requests like this.. afraid I'll get the rolling of the eyes over the phone.

            1. re: JanusSoCal

              Hi JanusSoCal,

              Yes. When you call to make reservations, mention that you have special requests for your Chef's Menu (you mention Uni and Red Meat). Those are definitely within reason. :) Now if you want Ipponzuri Maguro that might be more difficult :), but yes, that's exactly what the Chef's Menu is for. Fun times! :)

              1. re: exilekiss

                Thanks exilekiss! In your experience, is the Chef's Tasting Menu "too much food"? Would it be overkill to order that v. the 9-course tasting menu? Also, in your experience, do they up the price of the Chef's Tasting Menu if you ask them to incorporate more "expensive" ingredients in the tasting menu?

                1. re: JanusSoCal

                  Hi JanusSoCal,

                  I've definitely been stuffed each time I've had the Chef's Tasting Menu, but it's not exponentially more than the 9 Course (the portions are smaller per course with the Chef's Menu).

                  In terms of price, I haven't had any markups, but then again, I've never asked for anything extravagant specifically, so be sure to ask. I'm sure if you asked for, say, White Truffle to be incorporated into multiple dishes (when it's in season), that there'd be an additional charge perhaps. :) Enjoy~!

          2. I really appreciate everybody's ideas and suggestions. In the end, I asked boyfriend, "Seafood or Meat" and he said, "Meat, all the way." So, CUT it is. So, I guess my questions now is, since I'm going to CUT, any recommendations on appetizers or steaks that I must get? Also, I looked on their website, and it sseems like they are serving Australian Wagyu and no longer the Japanese Wagyu. Anybody been there recently that can confirm or deny this? Thanks!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JanusSoCal

              Hi JanusSoCal,

              Just called CUT, and the hostess confirmed that they're only serving Australian Wagyu right now (in addition to the U.S. cuts). Disappointing that they've stopped carrying Japanese Wagyu. The hostess did say this was only temporary.