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Providence or The Bazaar?

we are wanting to have a great meal while in la and also wanting to take my wife's father for a special meal. We had previously been to providence when we were in la last time and really enjoyed it. However we have been reading about the Bazaar and it sounds really interesting.

The question is: Bazaar or Providence?

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  1. Providence will always be the top in my eyes.

    If you want something different, you can definitely try Bazaar.

    At the end of the day, I'll always pick Providence.

    1. The Bazaar is my favorite. Providence is kind of meh to me.

      1. It's apples and oranges. Providence is very much an elegant fine dining, quiet conversation, super refined food experience. Probably my favorite place in Los Angeles for that. While Bazaar is a noisier - in a good way - fun verging on wacky, people watching, playful sort of a place. I think the food at Bazaar is excellent, though a little more hit and miss than at Providence, but it's hard to compare them as what's on offer is so different. Bazaar is a little bit cheaper than Providence, depending on drinks or added extras.

        1. Depends on your tastes. They're kind of apples & oranges, from a dining room standpoint.

          The experience at Bazaar feels quixotic and impusive, whereas you get more of a true fine dining vibe at Providence.

          Both are great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: J.L.

            exactly what J.L. says. ive been to providence twice and bazaar once. if i had to pick food, i may stick with bazaar, but over all dining experience i gotta give to providence.

          2. Could never forget the cheese service at Providence. Best l have ever encountered worldwide in last 15 years

            7 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Have you been to Bistro LQ for their cheese service, Delucacheesemonger?

              Bistro LQ
              8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Here is a view of the cheese cart offerings at LQ (circa January 2011)...

                1. re: J.L.

                  Thanks for the suggestion. On the cart shown l can recognize most of the French cheeses which predominate the cart. My recollections of the Providence cart sampled in February was that there were 20 or so cheeses, each in perfect condition, and served by a waiter who explained all of them in great detail. This was necessary as half of them l had never encountered before. This rarely happens to me.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    the LQ cart i believe is supplied by Nicole's Gourmet Foods in south pas, which is a shop that specializes in french products (though they have other things). it's a nod to Laurent's french heritage.
                    The Providence cart is more diverse.
                    Best cheese plate i ever had was in the midst of Spago's 10-course tasting menu (plus 6 amuses) about 7 years ago. they brought out 13 cheeses, and after we selected a few, the server just asked if we'd like a plate of all 13. no-brainer. we wound up being served well over a pound of cheese for just the two of us. gluttony galore.

                    176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                    Nicole's Gourmet Foods
                    921 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      IF you'll note my review of the cheeses at LQ (back at Bistro LQ) I was extremely frustrated that the server had no clue what ANY of them were save for goat/cow/sheep due to location on the board. Couldn't even name epoisse with the damned label on it. I mentioned this to Chef afterwards - he came out to chat - and it seems they've since added labels to them all since moving to starry kitchen.

                      I am certainly not the cheese enthusiast you are, but Providence's Cart was very impressive - the only ones I've seen more numerous, equally well aged, and better explained were at Michel Rostang and Joel Robuchon.

                      To answer the original question of this thread - Providence is special. The Bazaar's room trumps the Bazaar's food - and I went under Voltaggio's post.


                      Bistro LQ
                      8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Could never forget the cheese service at Providence. Best l have ever encountered worldwide in last 15 years

                    That says A LOT! Especially considering you've been lovingly dubbed THE Cheese Locust on the France Boards...having single handedly relieved cheesemongers of their best wares in a single sitting...

                  3. I would stay away from Bazaar. We were just back from Spain and expecting good things after enjoying Spanish gastronomic delights on our travels.

                    The dinner we had there was one of the worst meals I've had in my life. We actually had to send food back to the kitchen for being excessively oversalted and inedible --- and I am a fan of heavily seasoned foods and have never sent food back. Dish after dish was a disaster. They were 45 minutes late in seating us for our reservation. The dining room was full of incredibly tacky parties, not upscale to put it politely. And they allowed a large party to remain in the dining room after 10pm with a screaming infant. The valet line after dinner extended more than an hour, with total disarray and inability to manage crowds. Management to back of house, an appalling and disappointing evening. Steer clear if you want a good experience.

                    Bazaar Beverlyhills
                    443 North Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills, CA

                    1. Bazzar is good the first 1-3 times. After that, it loses its novelty and I now find the food cold and without much substance. But I've been over 8-9 times now (out of town visitors, dates, etc.).

                      Providence is still good after visits 5-6 over the years. The food is more real to me.

                      If you've never been to Bazaar and have already been to Providence, I say go to Bazaar. Like I said, you'll love it your first time around. Just be sure to get the "not your every day" caprese and the philly cheesesteak. The bunuelos de bacalao are probably my favorite and is one dish I still enjoy every time.

                      1. Providence. Easy.

                        If you want to experience Senor Andres, make sure to go to Saam and skip the main dining room.

                        1. Bazaar was amazing the first time. But then again, my date looked unbelievely sexy and we got drunk and had a great time.

                          The second time? I went with friends (including a chef) and...we sent back one course for being too salty - and they never fixed it, never brought it back. It was like a nice tapas bar, but I've had better food, more interesting food in a number of small plate places. Animal. RM Post. Playa.

                          I wonder what I was so amazed about the first time.

                          The second time at Providence was better than the first, the third, better than the second, in fact each time it is as good or better. (I think it actually has gotten better since they opened. And it was very good the first time out). It is an L.A. gem - exceptional service, very creative food, perfectly executed and hits the delicioso monkey bone.

                          If someone asked me to go to Bazaar - I'd go again to see if I could improve my last experience. But I always look forward to a meal at Providence.

                          Providence hands down.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: sushigirlie

                              The best meal I've ever had in Los Angeles was at Providence.

                              5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                          1. The Bazaar has declined. First visit- great, also Jose Andres happened to be there that night. Next visit, it was ok. Next visit, ok.

                            Providence is numero uno for me. two of my four visits were when Michael Cimarusti was not there, and it wasn't quite as great, but still really good.

                            Would you consider Spago? While Providence has my heart, Spago has been perfect each of my five visits, a la carte and tasting menu.

                            176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: pley

                              do you know how often Cimarusti is actually there during the week?
                              is it okay to ask for a reservation on a day that he will actually be in the kitchen? or is he just there on random days?

                              1. re: samtron608

                                Cimarusti is there Tue-Sat nights pending some special circumstance that prevents him from being there. You can always ask though when making your reservation.

                            2. I was going to say this is a trick question because I think Providence is so much better it isn't even a question, but I guess it depends on the experience you are looking for. and the mood you are in. If I could only choose one place to eat, I'd always take Providence. However, since I am free to choose all kinds of places, I DO choose to go other places to get variety.

                              Bazaar is very good, fun and interesting. If you have already been to Providence, try something new.

                              1. I would say Providence without a doubt. I feel that there is no soul in the food at Bazaar. Its almost too gimicky and fake. Its hard to explain but I want to feel the love and the soul of the Chef when i eat and at Bazaar I didnt get any of that. I know that there are some incredibly talented Chefs that work there, but I dont feel that I know who they are from eating their food.

                                1. Providence but if you would go to Saam instead of Bazaar it would be a much closer call