Archive for the 'New American' Category

Maude – Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Maude - Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

It’s avocado season here in Southern California, and Maude, Curtis Stone’s critically adored restaurant, is celebrating in grand fashion with a month-long tasting menu dedicated to the super-luscious, downright buttery ingredient.

Maude Restaurant - June 2015 - Avocados

Maude’s menu changes with the seasons, focusing on “one key ingredient” each month. [See what the restaurant is cooking for the rest of this year.]

Our ten-plus course dinner featured California-grown Hass avocados in every single dish. Sometimes avocado was the star of the plate, while other times it elevated the ingredients surrounding it. As a lifelong avocado lover, it was a pleasure to experience the fruit in a plethora of forms, both classic and innovative—avocado leaf ice cream, anyone?

Maude Restaurant - June 2015 - Avocados

Named after Curtis Stone’s grandmother, Maude is a jewel box of a restaurant with just 25 seats and an impressive open kitchen. The space and service were warm and welcoming with the ideal touch of sophistication.

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WILD at Canelé – Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

I had the best lunch last Thursday. In addition to the great food and even better company (Sarah! June!), it was a last hurrah before maternity leave draws to an end. These past four and a half months have been a glorious introduction to motherhood, and I am thrilled for what’s to come.

But first, lunch.

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

I’ve been desiring a meal at Ria and Matt Wilson’s pop-up WILD for weeks now, but only got my act together with my return-to-work date looming in the distance.

Prior to popping up at Canelé, Matt spent time in the kitchens at Bouchon Las Vegas, Son of a Gun, and Sqirl, while Ria cooked at The Mansion Las Vegas, Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Canelé, and Sqirl. Killer resumes, the both of ’em.

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

WILD, as defined by its Instagram blurb, is “playful, experimental and knows no cuisine boundary.” Matt and Ria’s anything-goes-so-as-long-as-it’s-delicious-and-seasonal approach means that the menu changes from week to week (sometimes even day to day), dabbling in different genres, techniques, and cuisines along the way. You never know what you’re going to get…

The duo are clearly having a blast at WILD, and I love how you can taste their collective energy in every bite.

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Commissary at The Line Hotel – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The second half of my second trimester of pregnancy has been good to me. After a rough start, I can finally hold down food without the aid of modern medicine, I have a great deal more energy, and best of all, I’m able to stay awake past 8 PM. I’m not sure what the next couple of months will hold, but for the time being, life rocks.

While the good spirits are running high, I plan on cramming in as much good eating and restaurant explorations as possible. For our first dinner out on the town in a few months, The Astronomer and I made it a priority to check out Chef Roy Choi’s Commissary, his latest (and final) dining venue at The Line Hotel in Koreatown.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

Located on the hotel’s second floor rooftop, Commissary is a greenhouse with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Roy’s been layin’ off meat for years now, and Commissary is a reflection of how delicious and satisfying a plant-based (but not necessarily vegetarian) diet can be at its best.

The restaurant’s space is full of light: pure sunshine during the day and urban twinkly at night. There’s a shimmering pool nearby and superb vibes all around.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The restaurant’s illustrated menu (see topmost image) is divided into five price points and comes with a supplementary decoder to describe various preparations and additional ingredients. The Astronomer and I both found the menu to be whimsical and fun, even though it wasn’t the most streamlined.

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Longman & Eagle – Chicago

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

If I had to pick a favorite meal from this trip to Chicago, top honors would go to Chef Jared Wentworth’s Longman & Eagle. It’s a whiskey bar that happens to have really good fucking food. What more could I ask for?

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

Recipient of a Michelin star for four straight years and counting (2011 to 2014), Longman & Eagle is my kind of place.

The food is creative and delightful, while the mood is perfectly chill. Best of all, the fare is more than fairly priced. It’s impossible not to fall hard for L&E’s charms, especially with a few $3 whiskies working their way through one’s system.

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

Behind the stoves are Executive Chef and Partner Jared Wentworth and Chef de Cuisine Matthew Kerney. The forward food is sometimes dreamed up while under the influence:

I think smoking a little weed makes the creative process better, especially for food. But it’s all based in classical French techniques, and then I start putting twists on things from there. – Jared Wentworth

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