********THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED.********
Provecho, a self-proclaimed "modern Mexican" establishment, is a recent addition to the burgeoning downtown restaurant scene.
Provecho is that it's not quite ready for the discerning palates of foodies and businessmen, nor is its course pacing perfected yet. I hope Provecho improves with time because I think it has potential. If its current state continues without significant progress, however, Provecho won't survive.
The decor is sexy enough. I liked the light fixture in the foyer and the water running down the glass wall separating the kitchen from the dining area.
My only criticism of the ambiance is that it's too dark. I understand romantic lighting, but it was ridiculously dim without yielding a romantic vibe at all. The above photos don't show it, but the lights were turned significantly down when we dined (which, of course, made photography damn near impossible).
Complimentary foil-wrapped tiny flour tortillas and fried corn tortilla chips with spicy sauce greet you not long after you're seated. Sauce was fantastic. The cold chips, not so much.
Amber's "La Sancha" had jalapeño in it. I had a sip. It tasted like liquefied Red Hots gone bad. Not my thing. Not Amber's thing either. She didn't finish it.
mojito ($11) wasn't as pretty as Amber's disappointing spicy drink, but the mix of Bacardi, fresh watermelon juice, mint, lime, agave nectar, and soda tasted a whole lot better. I finished it.
Jen opted for the wine pairings with her meal, which she said were done well.
Provecho's dineLA set is $34 for starter, entree, and dessert. I'm glad it was $34. I think I would've been a bit disgruntled if I'd paid $44 for this meal.
Amber started with the halibut ceviche with aged sherry vinegar, black truffle, and red onion escabeche. We all agreed that it was flavorless and limp. Very sad.
Jen and I both had the mole-crusted foie gras with tomato jalapeño jam and grilled bread. Rich and creamy. Good combination of sweet, savory, and tart.
Luckily, Amber fared better with her entree -- snapper veracruzano, cherry tomatoes, and Marcona almonds. I thought it was well-seasoned and well-cooked.
Jen enjoyed her mole verde, lamb cheeks, and vegetables. Smoky. Delicious.
I liked my pork al pastor underneath its tower of fried-ness. The meat was sufficiently tender, and it's hard to mess up onion rings. The accompanying pineapple confit, however, was blech -- a bad amalgamation of sour and spicy. It sort of reminded me of a more mouth-puckering version of Amber's failed drink above, but in solid form. Nice try, but it didn't work. At all.
For dessert, Amber tried the spiced chocolate cake, cajeta caramel, and dark chocolate. We laughed when she observed that the cube on top looked like a Viactiv Soft Chew. The little bite I had was rich and not too sweet.
Jen and I loved the goat cheese cheesecake, blue corn crumble, and red wine figs. Very creamy. Very yummy. Thumbs up.
Provecho has the necessary elements to become a reputable restaurant -- good concept, good food, good service. It's not there yet. I think it's going through growing pains right now. I'd like to visit later this year to see if it has improved. Until then, I advise that you go to Babita for all your gourmet Mexican cravings.