Los Angeles | Maude (Pistachio Menu)

Possibly the hardest table to get in Los Angeles, Maude, is a French restaurant by the famous Australian chef Curtis Stone. Curtis Stone gained his fame as a TV food star in Australia before moving to USA, he opend this 25-seat restaurant in 2014 named after his grandma. Maude is Crutis Stone’s first restaurant, also his frist time play a role of hands-on chef. With his proficient knowledge of cooking, the restaurant soon became a hot topic in town.

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Date: March.5.2016 (Dinner)

Address: 212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills

Hours: 5:30~10pm, closed on Sundays and Mondays

Cost: $125 Tasting menu, $150 wine pairing (before ++)

Website

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Maude located in the trendy Beverly Hills, with a hidden low-profile shopfront. While once you step into the restaurant, the warm and homey ambiance simply makes you feel like home.

The restaurant sells tickets for reservations on the first day of each month, while getting a table is very hard, especially at the counter which usually sold out in the first mornig. You have to purchase the ticket and make payment when you make the reservation. Only a tasting menu is served, while the price varies each month, but normally won’t cost you more than USD $200 before tax and service charge. Each month, and a main ingredient drives each monthly menu.

We had a Pistachio Theme menu priced at $125++, we also had wine pairing at $150 per head. Most of the dishes are infused by pistachio.

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Pistachio falafel, smoked trout roe

Dinner started with two snacks. The pistachio falafel was quite lovely, with a hint of umami flavors of the trout roe. Foie gras dumpling with a rhubarb skin was smooth, while the skin could be softer.

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Rhubarb and Foie gras dumpling

 

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Lettuce, nettles, pistchio, yogurt

Unfortunately, the following two dishes were underwhelming. The lettuce dish was too grassy and lack of flavors, too as the pea soup which was too clean and boring.

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Peas and seaweed soup, fennel, pistachio, herbs

 

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Beetroot tartare, olive and tomato crisps

Followed by a beetroot tartare with works slightly better because of the deeper flavors of beetroot itself. Not memorable neither.

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Mortadella, pistachio gribiche, homemade focaccia

Hopefully the main dishes works much better. I loved the mortadella which was a perfectly poached egg – so soft and creamy, the homemade focaccia is soft and airy which works so well with the runny egg yolk.

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Lobster, Asparagus, morel

The lobster was succulent and delicious. Overall i had a very bad dining experiences in western restaurants in LA, this lobster dish as well as the duck breast coming later, are probably the best main dishes i had of this trip. Although honestly not too impressive on the flavor side.

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Pistachio ravioli, lemon, dill, broccoli dicicco

The ravioli was surprisingly good, the al dante pasta skin packed with creamy pistachio filling. Sadly only 3 small ravioli were served, both my partner and i need some more.

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Aged duck, fiddle head, puntarelle, kumquat

I had a very disappointing duck breast experience at Providence (ex 2 michelin stars) few days ago,  and this dish was quite nice. The aged duck breast was succulent and flavorful, the garnish balanced it very well.

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Casatica cheese, beet salad

Not a cheese lover but loved the Casatica, nice balance with beetroot salad.

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Spumoni, chocolate, strawberry, toasted pistachio

I am quite scared of desserts in USA as most of them are over-sweetened. While this one is one of the few exceptions, although its tastes are not very impressive.

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(Stone was not in the kitchen during our visit.)

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Every dish runs quite smooth throughout the menu, totally different from other fine dining restaurants i have visited in LA which are too heavy for my liking. I like chef’s philosophy and concept of the menu. It was a nice experience, flawless but i found there’s nothing really surprised me (us) as the first part was underwhelming. The main dishes work very well.  My partner had been to Maude several times and always have the same thought as i do. But consider to its more pocket-friendly pricetag throughout all the fancy restaurants in town, what should i complain more?

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