Help me choose a restaurant. Providence, Ink, Animal, others?
I will be in LA for 2 nights at end on February. Last time I was in town we had the tasting menu at Spago and had an exceptional meal. This time I think I have mostly narrowed my list to Providence, Ink, Animal, or Sun of a Gun.
I don't want to spend a ton of money so I would only be doing the 5 course menu at Providence, will that be satisfying? Is that enough to give a tasting experience?
Is Ink worth a try, the menu looks good, but the tasting menu is brief. What is the deal with omakase?
Is the a consensus of which is better Animal vs. Son of a Gun?
Also open to any other suggestions.
The tasting menu for ink sounds interesting, but I was there in a group of 4, and we were able to order the entire menu for the same price. Much more worth it imo, being able to try so many different things. Maybe in a party of 2 it would be okay.
I prefer Animal over SoaG, particularly for the foie gras biscuit.
Providence is sort of in a separate category. I would say 5 courses at Providence should be satisfying and give a tasting experience (remember the fantastic bread basket and Amuse's), but I would still throw the extra 30 do to the Chef's tasting.
After that I would go with Ink ( the Omakase is likely more than you're looking to spend) and then either Animal or Son of a Gun.
All are well known restaurants, and all may be very good, but I think you're best bet for exceptional will be at Providence.
Best meal I've ever had in Los Angeles was the Providence tasting menu. It's really unfair to compare it to Animal. They are truly two wildly different types of wonderful restaurants and experiences. You won't go wrong with either.
If cost is a concern you might want to consider Gjelina, Fig or Rustic Canyon all with great food on the westside.
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
100 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thanks for the responses. We ended up choosing Ink. We did the tasting menu (5 courses) and ordered an additional 2. We were very happy with the food. The biggest standouts were:
1) foie with waffles, hot sauce and smoked maple syrup - deconstructed play on chicken and waffles
2)Pork Belly (not on tasting menu) - can't remember details, but it was very good
3)Beef tartar with rye crisps, - deconstructed french dip (not on tasting menu)
4) Steak frites with flavors of bearnaise - deconstructed sauce with clear flavors
All deserts were very good.
The 5 course tasting menu at providence will be plenty of food. I guarantee that you will not leave hungry. I do like the other places that you mentioned, but I would pick Providence all the way.
I think that MV's "ink" is well earned. He was instrumental in developing The Bazaar and he was definitely in charge at the Langham.
Anyhow, his food at ink. was good with a nice blend of molecular gastronomy/deconstructed dishes and other simply well constructed tasty dishes all showing good technique. I would gladly return.