My dinner at Providence almost never happened. I was on my way to Los Angeles for the weekend and I had three restaurants in mind for dinner, none of which happened to be named Providence. In fact in the first instance I turned down having dinner at the restaurant even though my big shot movie producer friend Carol Fenalon suggested that's where we have dinner. "They serve my favorite tasting menu in L.A. these days" she said. Despite the endorsement from a source I trusted I brushed her off. "I haven't heard good things" I told her. I'd rather we go to Il Grano and try their crudo. But you know how these things go. The Saturday before I was going to be in town my friend Liz Haskell had dinner at the restaurant and and she described her meal as "excellent". That did it. Two excellents from trustworthy sources and I willingly abandoned an evening revolving around raw fish prepared in the Italian style for cooked fish prepared in the haute cuisine tradition.