This week, Besha Rodell visits one of LA’s most venerated fine dining restaurants, Patina, which originally opened in 1989 in Hollywood before relocating to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. The Weekly critic describes the restaurant as “practically synonymous with luxury and quality” while at the same time being “ignored by local and national media, despite its supposed excellence.”
B. Rod wonders if “we all so distracted by everything shiny and new, we're overlooking something genuinely exceptional?” Turns out, the answer is no:
Patina works with some ingredients that are hard to find elsewhere, and there's no doubt there's skill involved in cooking squab so very perfectly. But there are far too many dishes that fall flat, or rely too heavily on a brand of creativity that's now commonplace. Grapes with the fish is no longer a particularly electrifying combination. There are plenty of chefs who might pair lamb belly with figs and falafel, and I can think of more than a few who might cook that lamb belly more lovingly, too. [LAW]
Rodell also notes several service failures that “rise to the level of shocking here, where it's hard to spend less than $400 for two people if drinks are involved, and where one of the main justifications for that price tag is the promise of smooth, superlative professionalism from the service staff.”
Ultimately, she concludes, “if Patina was my first experience of spending $400 on dinner, it would also almost certainly be my last.” Patina walks away with two stars out of five.