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Ink, LQ@SK, or Providence?

r
RChicago Mar 7, 2012 08:09 AM

Hi! Will be in LA for a long weekend soon. The dining focus will be mostly on ethnic spots (adored Mottainai, Torihei, Beverly Soon, Din Tai Fung, and Jitlada last fall and can't wait to try more), but we'd like to go to one nicer dinner this trip.

I reserved a table at Ink, but then today got an email that we'd scored a table at LQ@SK, too. As these are both tough-to-get tables, I'd like to free one up asap. I've also been considering Providence, and wondering if Providence has the better food, and it's just that Ink and LQ@SK are hotter at the moment. I know this is a bit of apples and oranges as LQ@SK is far less expensive than the other two, and cost is a consideration, although not the major one. We're staying downtown, so being able to BYOB and roll back to the hotel from Starry Kitchen is tempting - - but not at the expense of far better food.

So, folks that have experienced all three, knowing what you know, which would you recommend if you could only go to one?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Porthos Mar 7, 2012 08:58 AM

    Though ink costs 2x-3x as much I find the food much more exciting and tasty at LQ@SK. If you have a reservation at LQ@SK, you should take it as it may go offline for a while before resurfacing.

    The food at Providence is outstanding, maybe the best high end we have in LA. I had yet another excellent meal there last weekend. However, the cost is 4-6x as much as LQ@SK but the cheese cart at LQ@SK is at least twice as superior in terms of selection and quality.

    I would recommend LQ@SK or Providence depending on how much you want to spend ($45pp vs $150-$250pp if we count beverage costs). The food at LQ@SK will not be a let down and many dishes will go toe to toe with dishes at Providence. Ink is already cooling off as I suspect more people are finding that while good, it's just not living up the the hype/press.

    Swing by K&L wines in Hollywood and pick up a bottle of champagne and another bottle of wine to go with your dinner at LQ@SK and roll back to your hotel happy. It's nearly impossible to beat in terms of QPR.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Porthos
      Peripatetic Mar 7, 2012 11:24 AM

      LQ@SK is winding down. March 21st is their last day before going on hiatus, and they're already fully booked until then. (There's a waiting list, though,) They've announced one special menu on April 1st.

      http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/03/01/lqsk_donzo_for_now.php
      http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/03/...

      EDIT: Just noticed the OP already has a reservation. Agree that LQ@SK is the way to go.

    2. r
      Robert Thornton Mar 7, 2012 12:42 PM

      Another vote for LQ@SK. I love Providence, but it's much more formal and expensive. LQ@SK is more fun, totally agree about the cheese cart, best one in LA and the food is great.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Robert Thornton
        r
        RChicago Mar 7, 2012 02:09 PM

        Thanks for all the great input. Glad to hear that LQ@SK wouldn't be a mistake. I was a bit worried it was all hype, no substance.

        We can save Providence for another visit.

        1. re: RChicago
          Porthos Mar 7, 2012 03:12 PM

          Hype? It doesn't get anywhere near the press ink, Animal, or Ludobites gets and I find it better than all 3 at a lower price point. I'd use the opposite to describe LQ@SK: all substance, no hype.

          1. re: Porthos
            r
            RChicago Mar 7, 2012 03:14 PM

            I guess I spend too much time reading food blogs. When a menu includes lots of airs, gels, foams, etc., I worry a bit. And, at the $45 price point, I was worried it wouldn't deliver.

            1. re: RChicago
              Porthos Mar 7, 2012 03:36 PM

              And, at the $45 price point, I was worried it wouldn't deliver.
              ====================
              Worried that at such a low price point, it couldn't deliver the fru fru molecular stuff? You're not alone, sometimes I worry about their ability to make a profit also with foie gras, chanterelles, and other high priced items all in the same meal for $45pp. Often times, Chef Quenioux will do a very classic and refined dish just to show that he can do those types of dishes as well as anyone charging $35 a plate for them...then follow it up with a knock out dish like braised goat and vietnamese mints in rice crepe to show his range.

              See the below link for the March 18th menu. Not too many foams, airs, gels, etc. If present, it's used to enhance and is used in good taste and moderation. They're not used for the sake of using and disparate combinations aren't used simply for the sake of being weird.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837630

      2. j
        jacknhedy Mar 7, 2012 03:32 PM

        Cannot recommend LQ highly enough. Haven't been to ink, Providence 5x over a few years - loved it every single time, but if it comes down to, as was put - all substance and no hype, LQ is tops in my book. Ever since losing my practice, it just made LQ an even more compelling case. 4x in the last 12 months, and every time we loved it. (Case in point, recently took my wife to Melisse for the Foie for All (25th wedding anniversary splurge) - even with that, LQ holds up with the best of them. Enjoy!!! And support an amazing chef.

        1. tablefor1 Mar 7, 2012 04:09 PM

          Providence. Providence. Providence.

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