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Patina

141 S. Grand Ave. (Third St.) Send to Phone
213-972-3331 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
Downtown LA's Grand Avenue is an aptly named location for Patina, as it is a grand restaurant.

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Tues.-Sat. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
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Patina, Los Angeles, CA

Patina Restaurant Review

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About the Chefs: Patina is a restaurant with a long fine-dining history. German über-chef Joachim Splichal arrived in the City of Angels in 1981 with pretty much nothing in hand besides his culinary skills acquired in Germany and France. After his first restaurant, Max au Triangle in Beverly Hills, he opened Patina in 1989 on Melrose Avenue and later moved it into the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. With his partner Nick Valenti, Splichal is now at the helm of the Patina Restaurant Group, running some 60 restaurants in America. This is a story we can definitively call the “American Dream.” In order to run the kitchen of this Los Angeles institution of haute gastronomy --- Patina has been one of GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2004 --- Splichal needs an executive chef to run the kitchen. Considering the legacy, this is no easy task. Chef Andreas Roller, also hailing from Germany, has accepted the challenge. It is the culmination of years of dedication. At the age of 22, Roller bought a plane ticket from his native country to LAX after hearing about Patina. He went straight to the Melrose Avenue restaurant and asked for a job. He occupied the sous-chef position for a few years, then left to travel the world, returning to the group in 2007. He worked at various properties until he was appointed to oversee the crown jewel in 2017.

About the Restaurant: You will, of course, find white tablecloths, set with Baccarat water glasses, Riedel wine glasses, Nachtmann votives and charger plates, and Puiforcat silverware. The dishware has been completely revisited, bringing more life to the dishes. The collection even includes a slate of petrified wood. The walls are adorned with blond wood shaped like small waves, bringing calm to the mind. Tables are widely spread out, allowing a degree of privacy for romantic or business conversations.

Likes: The overall gourmet and luxurious experience. All the presentations are worthy of one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.
Dislikes: Can be a trek if you don’t live or work near downtown Los Angeles.

About the Food: Patina can only be experienced through tasting menus composed of three, six or 10 courses. The professional staff will guide you in choosing one to best fit the gourmet memories you want to create that evening. They all start with a parade of amuse-bouches like celery root velouté, Wagyu beef tartare, caviar on avocado mousse and quail egg. Let us continue with Japanese kinmedai, uni aïoli, green apple and fresh shaved wasabi; basil wrapped hamachi; and sweetbreads served on a bed of tagliatelle and topped with chanterelles and cauliflower. Of course, you will find pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras, here sprinkled with walnuts and accompanied by an apple purée, blueberries and a cassis reduction, on which some Cognac is sprayed with a perfume diffuser. For another touch of luxury, you can add truffles from Périgord when in season. Bounty from the sea might include European turbot wrapped with gambas and leeks, perfumed with saffron, resting in a Champagne velouté with caviar, alongside asparagus, zucchini and tomatoes; or Dover sole encrusted with pizzuta almonds, with fennel purée, spinach purée, black grapes and brussels sprouts, finished in a grape verjus. If you opt for meat, it could be Scottish red leg partridge stuffed with foie gras and Puy lentils (the best ones). The squab leg, prepared as a confit, is seasoned with a citrus jam and beet reduction. Snake River Farms Wagyu rib-eye and braised beef cheeks are paired with yukon gold potato Parmesan mille feuille. For a supplement, venison can be part of the feast. Vegetarians are not forgotten, as they have their own three- or six-course menus that include wild chanterelle mushrooms, coffee roasted carrots and pumpkin agnolotti, plus a choice from four desserts.

Cheese & Desserts: Patina is one of the few restaurants with a cheese cart that should not be passed up --- it should always be included in a gourmet meal. Before dessert, a refreshing pear sorbet with Poire William eau de vie will be brought to the table. Foie gras also makes an appearance among the sweet endings. Liquid nitrogen is poured tableside on shavings to turn them into chips, which are then set on a white chocolate bread pudding, resulting in tasty decadence. The goat cheese fromage blanc is as light as the lychee sorbet that comes with it. You will also surely enjoy the tapioca with coconut and banana. Capping off the meal are mignardises, perhaps pear and ginger pâte de fruits, a mini berry tart and a pistachio chocolate bonbon that is a treat for chocolate lovers.

Water & Wine: Martin Riese, another German countryman, acts as restaurant manager as well as water sommelier. (Yes, they exist --- there are a few hundred of them worldwide.) For Riese, pairing water with food is as important as pairing wine, and he will happily guide you among the 26 still or sparkling waters that are available. If there are that many water choices, you can imagine how extensive the wine list must be at a restaurant of such caliber. The focus is on California wines, then Burgundy. The labels are rather classic, with more "fun" selections among the wines by the glass. A tip: If you talk to the sommelier, some other bottles, not listed, might magically appear.
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