Despite the fact that the “paleo” diet has been thoroughly thoroughly defeated by Christina Warinner at University of Zurich:

Patina’s “Paleo” menu is clearly a great interpretation of the three key points of Warinner Ted talk regarding the take-out of her paleo diet research: “eat a variety of species”, “eat fresh [seasonal] food”, “eat whole foods”.

Witness the Patina’s bread basket and nevermind the fact bread isn’t tolerated in the modern, trendy “paleo diet”: whole grains. Check.

Witness the the duck breast with duck chicharroes in the bottom right frame — “variety of species”, check.

paleo menu
Warinner also speaks of leaner animals that aren’t farmed and eating complete animals.

Beef tongue a la plancha, above middle-right, check.

Eating fresh seasonal food is important, stressed Warriner. Well, this is Patina, and Charles Olalia isn’t letting you eat out-of-season vegetables even if you wanted to. For starters, an amuse is presented. It may be a small bite of interpreted goi cuon, stuffed with raw shrimp and some vegetables. To follow, a cold veloute is gently poured into a beautiful presentation tableside. There could be tomatoes, there could be watermelons, they may be carrots, and there may be coconut cream. Either way, Patina’s attention to vegetables is mostly on par with the upper echelons of haute cuisine in America, and for this menu, it’s less fussy.

chocolate dessert

Finally, Warriner speaks of sugar intake, and the massive food portions caused by neolithic farmer (and modern factory practices. Drinking a 32-oz cup of soda would require the paleo man to chew throughh 8+ feet of sugar cane. Patina’s paleo dessert — a chocolate coconut demi sphear — is small(er), and gluten free. It satiates the sugar crave, but doesn’t provide a sugar crush.

Ted X approved paleo-inspired menu: check, check, check, and checkmate. The final killer part of this menu is the price tag; Ollalia is able to produce the three course meal that rotates at least monthly for only $45, bread basket and the typical Patina mignardises en compris.

I don’t think too many words are necessary to describe what Patina means to the LA dining scene. At a casual glance it’s a de facto anniversary celebration go-to. In reality, it is the final bastion of LA fine dining. Providence may be all fancy with the longer, and more star-ridden menu, Melisse clearly has the molecular French down, and Spago has been around far longer. Still, for a bit of SoCal pomp and circumstance, Patina’s service is unrivaled, yet less stuffy; more Craft, less Le Barnardin. It’s perfectly relais and chateau, done with slightly comfort, casualness that only an Angeleno instituion can provide.

mignardises and cheese cart

To end the evening right, gift the maid the mignardises and volunteer yourself for the cheese cart instead. Go all out and get a whole plates worth (five kinds): Koenig, upstate ny, Landaff, Etorki, basque, Aged gouda, washed talegio Lombardi and they’ll come with seasonally proper condiments such as strawberry thyme compote and apricot jam.

Providence, LQ and Comme Ca all have cheese carts, but Patina has a tea cart. Yet it doesn’t have a water menu. Yes, that’s all a bit self denigrating since Rays & Stark and Patina both belong to Patina Group. The point being: tea cart, bread tray, A-OK. Water menu more than 2 items long, not OK. For that final bit of je ne sa quai, east of Western Ave, nothing offers quite the same as Patina. And Providence will never offer even one iota of affordable access like Patina does. Witness their 3-course, $48 holiday lunch prix fixe.)

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