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May 12, 2012 04:47 PM

Saturday night dinner: Providence vs. Mozza

My family will be coming into town for my graduation in the end of June, and we will be going out for a celebratory dinner on that Saturday night. My family is quite into the food scene in San Francisco, and we have eaten well in many other cities as well. My debate has come down to either Providence or Mozza. I know Providence is supposed to put on the best tasting menu in town, but also has a reputation for being a bit over the top or pretentious. Mozza has an incredibly large and diverse menu (not always a good thing), but a great name going for it. Which one would you recommend for a nice dinner for four very experienced eaters (quieter restaurants are definitely a plus, but I haven't been given the impression that it would be an issue at either location).


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  1. Which Mozza are you talking about? Pizzeria Mozza or Osteria Mozza. One is much more casual....and quite a bit louder. I don't find Providence at all pretentious, but it is fine dining.

    1. Mozza reservations come out 30 days early, so if you want to go June 13th you can not book until
      May 13th, Warning they fill up very very very fast. Call them to book it, do not book it on open table because they don't get the good times that are available when you actually call the resturant.
      PS... I love Providence too,,,

      1. Providence is no more pretentious than Manresa and much less so than TFL or Dining Room at the Ritz. It's like Atelier Crenn in terms of formality, in a slightly nicer but still casual dining room. It depends on if you want seafood or pasta for dinner. I love O.Mozza (I'm assuming you mean O.Mozza not P.Mozza) in fact, I'm going again next week. However if you've been to B&B in Vegas or Babbo in NYC, it's very similar except for the Mozzarella bar which is unique to the LA branch. Plus, SF has such great Italian options.

        If you don't mind causal and boisterous Red Medicine is doing some of the most unique to LA cuisine these days. If you want a formal celebratory tasting menu dinner, I recommend Providence. You can get the 5 course tasting and supplement from the market menu, or go all out chef's tasting, or create your own tasting from the best looking dishes on the menu. Make sure to get the "ugly bunch" if it's still around and the signature Santa Barbara prawns cooked in hot herb scented salt.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Porthos

            Providence is fancier,
            Mozza has more diverse choices on the menu,
            Your family will be happy with either

            \and PASS on Red Medicine- was just there: loud, poorly paced service, some courses were exceptional, but a couple just seemed weird to be weird (I felt like the sashimi was an entry on "Chopped"- make something with amberjack, red seaweed, buttermilk, and tapioca pearls....)

          2. Providence.

            And I've never heard of it being "over the top or pretentious." Service is very fine and so is the food.

            1. I know some Chowhounders may disagree with me, but I don't think this is even a close call. Osteria Mozza is clearly better. And, while neither restaurant is inexpensive, Mozza is lighter on the wallet. My last meal at Providence was over $400 for 2 people. I've never come close to spending that much for 2 people at Osteria Mozza and I spare myself no expense when eating there

              I would also strongly suggest you consider Hatfield's, which is without question one of the finest meals and dining experiences you will have in the Los Angeles area.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lambster

                You will have a lot more fun at Mozza. You will eat great food, which is not too serious & not as expensive