My wonderful husband arranged a dinner with friends at Providence to celebrate me turning 21 for the 10th time in my life. You can read about the first part of the meal here.
After that delicious dinner, it was time for dessert, the real reason all of us were there. Despite starting to feel full, I still went for the full 8 course dessert tasting menu. I didn’t know when I would be back so…*shrug* Can you blame me?
First up was “Cocktails”. Three different drinks manipulated via magic (okay, more like molecular gastronomy) into morsels that you pop in your mouth. From left to right was a grapefruit concoction, gin & tonic and mojito. The grapefruit and mojito were contained within a very thin bubble that burst in your mouth. The gin & tonic was turned into a jellied substance. I can’t say I was an avid fan of any of the drinks mainly because I don’t care much for grapefruit, dislike gin and prefer my mojitos on the sweet side. But texturally, this was quite a new and fun experience for me.
Next came the Kalamansi Gelee, which was my favorite…I think. It’s a bit of a tie between this and the 4th course. The kalamansi gelee was a first for me. Turns out it’s a fruit that looks a lot like a lime and is popular in the Philippines. Surrounding it was a soup of white chocolate coconut milk with tiny tapioca balls. On top of the gelee was a litchi-shiso sorbet and coconut. Now, I’m not at all a fan of coconut. I usually avoid anything with the stuff, which is ironic given that I used to gnaw on raw coconut as a kid growing up in the South Pacific. This dish wasn’t overly sweet nor was it strong on coconut flavor which is probably why it appealed to me. It was also light and refreshing. I think one of the reasons that I loved this dessert so much was the nostalgia the ingredients inspired in me, what with the coconut and the tapioca balls which reminded me of my boba-slurping days as a college student…
The third course was the mandarin-rose sorbet. There was a cute little pistachio macaron, some fluffy bits of yogurt cake and cardamon. I believe under the sorbet was a raspberry gelee. I’m not sure where the “mandarin” comes in but I did taste the rose and smelled it too. It wasn’t too flower-y and went well with the raspberry and yogurt cake which reminded me a lot of angel food cake. Macarons seem to be popping up all over the place nowadays which is fine with me because I love them. And mini-versions are just adorable which makes me love them even more!
Another favorite, the sweeter side of panzanella came next. This had burrata ice cream on one side and strawberries marinated in basil and balsamic vinegar with a pan-fried frangipane. I think the outstanding part of this dish was the strawberries. The basil, balsamic and strawberries all melded together into something delicious yet I could still taste each individual component. I am going to try and recreate it at home…but I’m sure I’ll probably come up with only a poor cat’s version.
Caramel pudding was fifth on the list. This dessert consisted of a cup filled with salted caramel pudding topped with a sprinkle of apricot, caramel popcorn and a chocolate peanut. I love the whole salt and caramel combination so when I started, I was pleased. However, when I reached the bottom, I found the pudding to be overly salty, so much that I really couldn’t finish it. Sadness…
Up next was the dark chocolate mousse with kumquats, ginger and goma ice cream. Goma, it turns out, is sesame seed. While it wasn’t as strong in flavor as the black sesame ice cream I had at Tsuruhashi, it was still quite enjoyable. I think sesame seed ice cream is something that needs to become trendy so I can eat more of it. Then again, my hips are already too wide…
Next was the affogato. This was pretty fabulous. It’s an Italian ice cream dessert that’s topped off with a shot of coffee or espresso. This version had canele ice cream with over a hazelnut streusel. The bitter of the coffee was softened by the sweetness of the ice cream and the streusel helped give a nice textual contrast. It was just a harmonious dish that I enjoyed. I think this was my next favorite dessert from the tasting after the kalamansi and the panzanella.
For our last course, we were treated to a plate of mignardises – bite-sized desserts that are a type of petit four. Mini chocolate macaraons, caramels and what I think were blackberry jelly candies graced our platter. We chowed down on the macarons and the jellies but most of the caramels were collected and taken home to be savoured later. These caramels had some salt in it and it was just right this time. I wish I had taken them all!
Not everyone partook in the tasting menu. Husband and another friend opted for only one dessert but their one dish were just as fabulous as our tasting menu. Husband went for the dark chocolate ganache which is a chocolate lover’s heaven. I am not sure what my friend ordered but it was beautiful…an edible marble-looking ball filled with something yummy; This was a sophisticated version of those chocolate eggs or something like that. Everyone was ooing and aahing when it arrived.
Overall, Providence has to be one of the best meals I’ve had so far. The dessert tasting menu is definitely a bargain, I think, and I encourage you it out, especially if you are a lover of sweet!
5 NOMs for Providence!
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038