Providence

5951 Melrose Avenue

Santa Barbara spot prawns roasted under a layer of salt. Nasturtium leaf tacos filled with scallop tartare. Gelée of littleneck clam and chorizo served in the clam shell. These are just a few of the delicacies guests might taste at chef-owner Michael Cimarusti’s seafood mecca Providence. This top Los Angeles chef is so masterful with unusual ingredients that he even serves a course inspired by his travels in Japan called the Ugly Bunch, transforming unattractive ingredients into a breathtaking plate. The game-changing chef is also the West Coast pioneer of Dock to Dish Los Angeles, a restaurant-supported fishery program promoting sustainably caught seafood. Naturally, the menu at this destination, decorated with driftwood chandeliers and ceramic barnacles, changes nightly and always includes three tasting menu options. Those in the know book the four-seat private chef’s table overlooking the kitchen for a special occasion, or go for Friday lunch, when they can enjoy chef Cimarusti’s skills in the light of day. Must-order: One of head bartender Kim Stodel’s “zero-waste” cocktails, like the Tom Kha curry–flavored Muay Thai creation, with a rum infusion made from lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir leaf leftover from the kitchen, and served with a biodegradable straw.

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