Yesterday, LA Weekly critic Besha Rodell dropped a scathing review of Patina, one of Los Angeles’s most venerated fine dining establishments, where she questioned the quality and relevance of the longstanding restaurant. The Patina Restaurant Group flagship ultimately walked away with two stars, but lines like:
I waited for my cocktail [for 40 minutes] on a recent evening at Patina. Failures of this sort are frustrating anywhere, but they 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. [LAW]
But a lamb belly dish was almost dried out, its accompaniment of figs and a wan ball of falafel hardly groundbreaking but also not classic in the slightest. An appetizer of Dungeness crab comes tinged green — according to the menu thanks to kohlrabi, Granny Smith apple, dill and horseradish — but those flavors were barely perceptible, verging on bland. [LAW]
But if Patina was my first experience of spending $400 on dinner, it would also almost certainly be my last. [LAW]
will certainly will leave some scars.
Last night, reps from the restaurant sent a statement from Patina Restaurant Group Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal:
I am disappointed to learn of the negative experience LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell recently had at Patina Restaurant. The experience she describes does not represent the high standards I have for this restaurant. When I opened Patina in 1989, my vision was to create an unparalleled culinary experience with the finest quality cuisine and exceptional service for every guest that comes through our doors.
Through the years, those that have dined with us can attest to the constant innovation and exceptional talent for which Patina has been celebrated and renowned. I will personally be working with the Patina culinary team and staff to ensure that every guest has an outstanding experience, and can assure our loyal patrons and new diners alike that Patina Restaurant will continue to serve as a culinary institution that represents the best of Los Angeles.
The response mirrors Thomas Keller’s reaction to the blowing New York Times review of Per Se at the beginning of this year, although Splichal’s response came on the same day of the review while Keller waited two weeks. Like Keller’s statement, though, Splichal promises improvements without specific action points.
Time will tell if Patina can recover from the hit, although with its prime location in the concert hall as a destination for pre-Philharmonic crowds, one of LA’s last fine dining bastions may do just fine.