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Providence (Chef's Menu) or Melisse (Carte Blanche)?

Looking to take someone out to either Providence or Meilsse, doing either the Chef's or the CB, respectively.

Any preferences between these two? Please don't suggest other options. It's going to be one of these two.


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  1. Providence. Build your own tasting from the prix fixe and supplement with market dishes. Cause really, how many times have you already had the Chef's Tasting already ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Porthos

      Why did I know that you would pick Providence? I guess it's because you are far more adventurous than I am when it comes to food! Still really enjoy your posts.

      1. Providence is bit more creative, Melisse more satisfying in the "Oh wow!" taste department. Intellectual vs visceral. With plenty of trespassing.

        Melisse has a more formal.special occasion feel. But Providence isn't exactly casual.

        Both are terrific.

        5 Replies
        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          So that would be a vote for ...?

          My only hesitation with Providence Chef's Menu is the length of time. My last time doing it bordered on breaking my curfew and turning into a pumpkin by the time the meal ended.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Hey you didn't mention you had a witching hour, ipse...

            I'd still hit Providence - Just earlier.

            1. Providence Best meal in LA

              1. Look what you did ipse. You started a thread where everyone is in agreement! Unbelievable ;-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Porthos

                  Yeah, leave it to me to stir the pot ...

                  1. If you were taking me out, I'd want you to take me to Melisse, no question! Mostly because, I haven't been and have been wanting to go for what seems like forever!

                    I went to Providence shortly after they first opened and was underwhelmed by their Chef's Menu. I didn't feel it was all that (granted, this is years ago) and haven't been back since.

                    ....I HAD to be the dissenting troublemaker, I know. :)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: The Oracle

                      That's a good point, The O.

                      The dinner really isn't for me, per se, more for the "other" person.


                      1. re: The Oracle

                        Oracle - give Providence another chance. They've definitely stepped up their game.

                        My first time there I wasn't overwhelmed. It was a very good, seafood oriented restaurant. But they've found their (sea?) legs and have become a world class restaurant. Love this place.

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                          I'm pretty much with Oracle…I prefer Melisse…but, I'm not that much into the innovative, "interesting" food that is the hallmark of Providence. I still remember the entree that I was served the first and only time there. It was sea bass that was "cooked" sous vide at 160° for a relatively short time. When served it was literally a block of warm sashimi. I personally found it inedible. Other food we had was good, and I suppose interesting, but none of the three of us at that dinner were overwhelmed. On the other hand, I've dined at Melisse multiple times, and have never had less than a delicious meal there. For me, Melisse wins hands-down!

                      2. Providence...hand down winner each time I go.

                        1. Most venerated 老师,

                          evident answer is Providence.
                          But coming from you, there must be some second intention here. I'm afraid to ask.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: OscarFox

                            你太客氣了! 我應該叫你師傅。

                            No agendas here, my friend. Just need to treat someone to a good meal. On me, no less.

                          2. Just curious, what is the approximate price for either of these meals?

                            1. I love Mélisse but if your guest's tastes are more on the avant-garde side, then Providence. I personally prefer the more traditional preparations available at Mélisse

                              1. You really can't go wrong with any of the two selections. I wish I had your problem.

                                Been to both, I do love both but Providence edged out Melisse by a hair.

                                I had my birthday dinner at Providence 2 years ago, I emailed them a month prior and requested for a degustation meal. I showed up at 6:30pm, ended up finishing the meal at 12:30am, that's 6 hours long. 22 courses without wine pairing (my choice). It's something one will never ever forget. Damage was $800+ with tax/tip.

                                Maybe next year, I'll give Melisse another shot but I'll request a degustation meal as well.

                                2 Replies
                                1. Providence also offers a dessert tasting menu.

                                  1. I took an out of town visitor from Europe to both Melisse and Providence. He favored Providence but still enjoyed Melisse. I think the wine service at Melisse somewhat turned him off. He had selected a vintage bottle off the wine list only to have the som tell us that wine was not available for the night. I thought it was just our bad luck. My guest was convinced that Melisse was purposely listing bottles that it did not carry to enhance its wine credibility. The food was very good and service correct, but Providence provided a more unique lineup of dishes. He felt the food at Melisse, while very good, was more in line with what he was used to from restaurants in other cities.

                                    If you want to do a test run before taking your guest out I would be happy to be your guinea cochon.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                      *wildly waving hands - "please, take me with you!!"*

                                    2. I have had lovely meals....and tasting menus....from both places. But I have to say, the one place I keep going back to is Providence. Terrific food....lovely service....great room.
                                      I keep meaning to go back to Melisse....but I manage to return to Providence on a regular basis.

                                      1. Just a reminder, you've had this thread before. I wonder why it would pop up again just now?

                                        Fear not. Hancock Park still isn't a "bad neighborhood." Although the amuse bouche is likely to have changed since 2011. Hopefully that won't be too shockin'.


                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                          Restaurants can be dynamic creatures. The older thread was from 2010. Things may have changed since.

                                          Correct me if I'm wrong ipse, but I believe ipse is looking more for intel on the current "state of play" with his post.

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Correct me if I'm wrong ipse, but I believe ipse is looking more for intel on the current "state of play" with his post.

                                            That's correct.

                                        2. Which did you pick? I'm debating with Providence Chef's menu vs Market menu.....

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: z78gml


                                            But then also went to Hatfields later as well.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Which menu did you choose? I'm debating btwn the Chef's and Market menu.

                                            1. I felt like ferris bueller when we went to Melisse. It was actually filmed at l'orangerie, which i liked a lot better.