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Providence full tasting vs Melisse 10 course anniversary

flzhang Nov 27, 2010 08:59 PM

Which one is better? Or in general, which restaurant do you prefer?

As a side note...Providence seems to be in a pretty bad location/neighborhood--any thoughts on this?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: flzhang Nov 27, 2010 09:11 PM

    As a side note...Providence seems to be in a pretty bad location/neighborhood--any thoughts on this?

    You are eating inside, not outside.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      aching RE: ipsedixit Nov 29, 2010 11:51 AM

      Plus, it's not a bad neighborhood at all!

    2. perk RE: flzhang Nov 27, 2010 09:39 PM

      They're both lovely....so you're going to have a terrific meal either way. Have you checked out some sample menus online? You are certainly more likely to have more seafood at Providence, if that's a deciding factor.
      I've never though of Providence's location as problematic. You pull up to the valet and go inside...and then reverse the process.
      Both restaurants have a lovely decor...though I might give Providence a slight edge.

      1 Reply
      1. re: perk
        foodiemahoodie RE: perk Nov 27, 2010 10:39 PM

        Actually the ultimate battle would be Providence full tasting menu vs Melisse "Carte Blanche" menu. I'd lean towards Melisse if only for the variety of different food, but if I was in the mood for seafood - and I'm always in the mood for seafood when it's Providence. Both are terrific. Personally I'll have to try them many more time before I give an opinion. And I plan on doing just that.

        Neighborhood for Providence isn't exactly bad. Right across the street is a gated community. Behind it isn't exactly luxurious, but I wouldn't call it bad.

      2. J.L. RE: flzhang Nov 27, 2010 10:33 PM

        Providence eeks out over Melisse for the win, in my book.

        Never, ever have I encountered anything even remotely akin to criminal activity or anything I would consider suspicious in my 10+ trips to Providnce and Patina (which was housed there before Providence) over the years.

        Just because the surrounding area doesn't look like Irvine, doesn't mean you can't have a Michelin-starred eatery there.

        Since you're from NY, flzhang, I'm sure you have more than enough streets smarts & chutzpah to deal with this area of L.A. as well.

        1. Peripatetic RE: flzhang Nov 28, 2010 01:11 AM

          "Providence seems to be in a pretty bad location/neighborhood"

          It's in an anonymous, slightly desolate neighborhood that's wedged between better-known areas (Hollywood, Larchmont, Fairfax), but it's not a bad neighborhood.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Peripatetic
            uhockey RE: Peripatetic Nov 28, 2010 07:36 AM

            I parked ~1/3 mile from Providence and wallked - nothing shady at all.

            I'll be going to Meilsse for Carte Blanche in 3 weeks, but Providence ranks in my top 10 meals ever and the full tasting is a relative bargain compared to my other top 10 contenders.


            1. re: uhockey
              ipsedixit RE: uhockey Nov 29, 2010 08:42 AM

              The Carte Blance at Melisse might be one of my favorite meals of all time.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                foodiemahoodie RE: ipsedixit Nov 29, 2010 09:52 AM

                I would agree.

                1. re: foodiemahoodie
                  rickym13 RE: foodiemahoodie Feb 2, 2011 08:42 PM

                  i second that on carte blanche at melisse

                2. re: ipsedixit
                  uhockey RE: ipsedixit Nov 29, 2010 11:43 AM

                  Then I shall be even more excited - though I'm not sure what the cost is. Regardless, it is being fit into a jammed packed week of food, family, and fun between LA and LV.


                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    uhockey RE: ipsedixit Feb 3, 2011 03:42 AM

                    As you'll see in my review here on the board it was indeed a memorable experience - the truffled melting egg is the best thing I have ever eaten.

                    It is hard for me to compare Melisse to Providence as they are nearly polar opposites aside from being "fine dining" and "Michelin 2 starred" but I think they are neck-and-neck for best experiences of that sort in Los Angeles.

                    That said, I spent ~$120 less at Providence, so it is clearly the better bargain IMO....but then again, I had two dishes absolutely LOADED with white truffles at Melisse, so it is tough to say it was overpriced.


                    1. re: uhockey
                      rickym13 RE: uhockey Feb 3, 2011 09:10 AM

                      what really impressed us at melisse was that everyone including busboy knew every ingredient of each dish....i was talking to my wife asking what it was on one of the dish and busboy who was clearing table next to us informed us what was in the dish!
                      also since we did carte blanche, we were there for almost 5 hours....saw party come and go....they bring out cordless iron and iron the table cloth so that there are no fold crease! never seen that before, not even at french laundry.

                      1. re: rickym13
                        uhockey RE: rickym13 Feb 3, 2011 02:40 PM

                        I saw that when I was there as well - only seen it once before, at Daniel.


              2. f
                foodiemahoodie RE: flzhang Nov 29, 2010 12:59 AM

                FWIW - Providence is where the old Patina was, which is where the old Le St. Germain was. Which was one of the nicest restaurants in town which opened in 1970. Don't know what was there before that. An upscale restaurant for 40 years.

                1. maxzook RE: flzhang Nov 29, 2010 03:32 PM

                  Providence is a block and a half from the Wilshire Country Club, and Melrose is the northern border of Hancock Park, which has been a hub of upper-class Los Angeles real estate since the 1920s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_...

                  Frankly, you could just as easily say that UCLA is in a bad location because it's on the wrong side of Sunset from Bel-Air.

                  1. burumun RE: flzhang Nov 29, 2010 10:22 PM

                    Tough choice and it'll be great either way. Melisse may be more "traditional".

                    Although as most said, Providence is the place for seafood, their full tasting certainly offers a whole lot more than seafood (foie gras, veal, squab are usually in the books) in case that was going to be a deterrent

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: burumun
                      uhockey RE: burumun Nov 30, 2010 02:10 AM

                      Dessert at Providence is out of this world, as well.


                      1. re: uhockey
                        burumun RE: uhockey Nov 30, 2010 06:50 AM

                        Yes and no, I've had mind blowing desserts there and some not so great.

                        Salt and pepper ice cream were not my thing ... Miso cheesecake last time was ok but wasn't as great as my first experience at Providence.

                        1. re: uhockey
                          ipsedixit RE: uhockey Nov 30, 2010 08:32 AM

                          Best dessert tasting menu I've ever had was at Water Grill ... when Koa Duncan was still the pastry chef there.

                          Water Grill
                          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                      2. j
                        jfdoug RE: flzhang Feb 2, 2011 09:48 AM

                        Tough choice.. I would give the edge to Providence.. What a great menu.. Michael C the chef is flawless..

                        1. l
                          links42 RE: flzhang Feb 2, 2011 04:52 PM

                          Providence did not live up to our expectations at all. We have not tried Melisse however.

                          1. j
                            JudiAU RE: flzhang Feb 3, 2011 08:07 AM

                            I'd personally choose Providence. Probably my favorite special occasion meal. Great service, attractive room, terrific cooking. I had a very good meal at Melisse but it was a long time ago so I can't comment.

                            1. Delucacheesemonger RE: flzhang Feb 3, 2011 08:17 AM

                              Neighborhood made parking at Providence a slamdunk, did not do Melisse yet and ordered a la carte, but was one of my top US meals, service was French Laundry level. Was there a few days ago.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                uhockey RE: Delucacheesemonger Feb 3, 2011 02:40 PM

                                If you get to Melisse you absolutely must try that freakin' egg.


                              2. u
                                USCott RE: flzhang Jan 30, 2012 03:52 PM

                                Providence was very good, but Melisse was better. For our anniversary, we could have gone a 2nd time to either and despite originally getting engaged at Providence, we choose to return to Melisse because the food was simply better. In particular, Melisse did something very difficult to achieve. They made us like a dish made with an ingredient (uni) that we usually don't care for. I think it is a mark of great skill to basically make me like something i ordinarily wouldn't order on my own.

                                1. e
                                  Ernie RE: flzhang Jan 30, 2012 04:00 PM


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