“A fabulous feast for the five senses” is how one friend recently described Patina Los Angeles, a restaurant located within the Walt Disney Concert Hall in DTLA. This spacious and unique house of dining is the flagship restaurant of Chef Joachim Splichal, who is the owner and master chef of the Patina restaurant group.
The Patina group has several locations throughout the city, but it is within this one place, Patina Restaurant Los Angeles, that the highest ideals and ideas which Spilchal aims for come together and are delightfully expressed.
This restaurant is certainly ideal for those who are interested in fine dining, be it before or after an event in the actual hall. It is no match for the hall’s beautiful architecture, but then again these two facilities are not in competition. They complete each other in a very real way.
What’s so special about the Patina Menu?
So, what sets Patina apart? First off, the menus. They have a menu for pretty much everyone. Their menus includes a tasting menu, a vegetarian menu (3- or 5-course), dinner menu, dessert menu, teas & coffees, cocktail list, wine list, and even a water menu.
The water menu is something you have to stop and admire. Every respectable restaurant would have at least some of the above menus. Food, alcohol, wine. Those are par for the course, especially for a nice place to eat. However, the water menu really blows you away. Patina has water from locations which crisscross the entire globe. Places such as Canada, France, the UK, Denmark, and even the Fiji Islands are included.
Patina is a Relais & Chateaux restaurant, which should already give you some idea of just how exclusive the food and ambience are. The three-course dinner menu is one worth looking deep into, because it has so much to offer. The menu is prix fixe, and there are plenty of options available.
For an appetizer, consider the lobster or scallops. Like all of the dishes here, it is French fine dining done right. No other words will do. It is an experience to be had. The escargot in not my cup of tea, but I heard it is also very good.
Fish or meat are available for an entrée. With the fish, the Alaskan halibut is a clear “go to” for me, but the other options sound just as appetizing. The halibut comes with calamari, chorizo, a chicken wing, saffron (yum!), and fergola sarda.
If you are into the meat, the pork chop is to die for. It is juicy and done to perfection, and served with sauerkraut, cherry mustard, and greens. Even if you have never been into any kind of French dining, it is worth it to come to Patina and see how it is meant to be done.
For dessert it is, as always, a matter of taste. I enjoyed the strawberry dessert. No, enjoyed isn’t the right word. More like fell in love with. This is the kind of dessert where were I to be eating it every day, I could not be persuaded to stop. It is that good, and that awesome.
If you aren’t interested in the fish or meat menu, the vegetarian menu is your friend. It has very succulent dishes, and an option for a 5-course meal. The vegetarian menu is significantly lower in price, and is also prix fixe. It includes entrées and desserts. Among the different entrées, the ratatouille – served with fennel, couscous, and courgette – is the one I would recommend.
Service with a Smile
What makes Patina LA stand out not only as an upscale French restaurant, but also as a place you would want to return to again and again, is the service. The staff is attentive but not overbearing. They make things run smoothly and seamlessly from course to course. It is the staff that gives Patina an extra gold star in my opinion. The servers, from the sommelier to the busboy, were quick and easy going. It was a pleasure to be greeted as we walked in, and truly looked after throughout the whole meal. It is what makes an evening of fine dining get even better.
The décor, as well, plays a big part in the success of an outing. Patina nailed it. It is spacious, elegant, understated. It gives room to appreciate the real beauty of the place, which – of course – is the amazing food coming out of Executive Chef Paul Lee’s kitchen. Lee has a rich culinary history, and his arrival at Patina in the beginning of 2015 signified a new era for Patina. In a time where so many fine dining locations seem to be closing, it was one of the greatest choices Chef Splichal could have made. Lee is creative, both in his culinary ideas and his plating presentations.
When it comes to seating, there are several options. Tables are located in the middle of the restaurant, and circular couch-like seating is also available for those wishing to sit against the wall. Wherever you choose to sit, you are in for a very comfortable meal.
Other than the beautiful main interior of the restaurant, there is also the option of a private room, and even a personal “chef’s table.” The private room is located in a separate room, and has several tables in it. It’s perfect for special occasions, birthday parties, small wedding receptions, etc. The chef’s table is the most exclusive table in the restaurant. It is rather secluded, and sits up to nine guests. The table provides those who sit at it with a front row view of the kitchen, and with a menu which can be customized in accordance with the guests’ tastes. Plus, guests sitting at the chef’s table will receive the personal attention of the chef.
Not every restaurant in the Patina group is so elegant. It is no wonder Chef Joachim Splichal refers to this place as his flagship restaurant. The ambience allows for an intimate and sophisticated evening. Coupled with a show at the Walt Disney concert hall, or even without it, it is a safe bet, and a sure winner. It is enjoyable, delectable, and in all other ways spectacular.