Two words, people: wedding anniversary. To be even more exact? 10th wedding anniversary. Definitely one for the books. An evening of music and fine dining. Life presents so many good things, but I dare say that there are few pleasures that can rival what I went through on my 10th wedding anniversary.
Meticulous planning. That is what made it happen. I never plan anything, really. I am a shoot from the cuff kind of guy. But this time, I wanted to wow her. And I did. Thanks to the Los Angeles philharmonic and Patina restaurant, both of which we got to experience in one beautiful evening in downtown Los Angeles.
We arrived at the Walt Disney concert hall, and walked into Patina LA. We were greeted warmly and seated immediately. I don’t know if we arrived at a specifically good time, or if it was just luck. Either way, we glanced at the prix fixe menu, and decided to order the tasting menu. As I understand, this is one of chef Paul Lee’s newer additions to Patina, and I am so happy he made this change. I am sure that the restaurant’s menu has been consistently good over the years, but a tasting menu let us both experience the breadth and width of the kitchen’s amazing creations.
You Won’t Be Disappointed at Patina
The sommelier paired the wine, and we began by ordering a cocktail. I got myself an Avant la Nuit, while my bride of the recent 10 years ordered a pomme royal. We both enjoyed our drinks immensely, and it left us both wanting more. However, that was when the first dish arrived: sea bream, served with tomato, basil, and peach. It was exquisite, and I could not imagine what the other dishes would taste like. All I knew what that I wanted them to keep on coming. Next arrived the escargot, which I chose more for her. I am not a fan, usually, but it was really good. Wow. The parsley adds a little unexpected kick, to be honest.
Next arrived an Alaskan halibut, which truly knocked us both off our (very comfortable) seats. I love fish, I adore fish, and that is why I am not able to eat just any fish. This halibut and its amazing sides were made with a caring hand and a wide heart. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the way that a chef prepares fish. I learned right then and there that Patina is not just about upscale food, it is an all-around encompassing experience. It is a restaurant that knows the meaning of good service. It treats its guests right, and that is of great importance in any restaurant, but even more so when it comes to fine dining.
The short rib came next, and I must admit that by then we were both getting full, but not stuffed. The portions were just right, and they were giving us exactly what we paid for. It is truly magnificent to sit and be waited on, to have the freedom to take full advantage of an anniversary dinner, and to feel special. There is a great joy that comes when eating really good food. It is as if there is a chemical or hormone that is saved for just such occasions, when the senses are overloaded with pleasure, coming at it from all angles. That is what this evening was – a continuing wave of pleasure, all in one place, just for us. We weren’t seated in the secluded private room, or at the exclusive chef’s table (both of which are an option), but we still felt like the only two people in that restaurant.
For dessert, we went with chocolate with black sesame and orange blossom. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal. We left the restaurant, knowing full well that we will be back a lot sooner than to celebrate our 15th or 20th wedding anniversary. We walked into the concert hall to receive even more pleasure, this time from the Los Angeles philharmonic. We sat down, I put my arm around her, we looked at one another and smiled. There was music playing in my head already, but then the orchestra got up and blew us away. An evening of dining in one of the best restaurants in L.A., followed by classical masterpieces performed live on stage. Music never sounded this good.