“4 out of 4 stars”, “one of the country’s most talked about restaurants”, “2014 Restaurant of the YEAR”, these are just a few of many positively outstanding and noteworthy reviews of Maude, who in just a few short months became one of LA’s best and most favorite restaurants amongst foodies, Angelenos, and chefs/critics of the culinary world alike. After years of watching (more like ogling) Curtis Stone on a variety of TV shows and regularly flipping through a few of his cookbooks I have proudly displayed in my tiny LA kitchen, words could not begin to describe my excitement to finally have the opportunity in my own town to have a beautiful meal, not to mention apparently the best beautiful meal, prepared by one of my favorite celebrity chefs. As captain obvious would quickly point this out to me, unfortunately I was not the only person out there with this same simple plan. Still completely convinced that no one in LA would love this meal more than I, I waited, quite patiently, for my turn to dine at the only place in LA I would blow an entire months worth of grocery money on if it mean’t I got to have this one meal. Sad but true.
So, how did I finally end up at Maude, all these months of sadness and emptiness later… well, to put it frankly, I got really f*cking lucky. I have a family friend back up North in the Bay Area who is also a purveyor and lover of fine dining and happens to be as big of a fan of Curtis as I am. Having heard the national buzz surrounding this incredible little 25 seat golden nugget tucked away in Los Angeles, she did the intelligent thing and booked herself a reservation the one day Maude opens up reservations for the entire next month. To give you some perspective, the month is usually booked entirely in just that one day. Suddenly though, her reservation came about, she couldn’t make it down to LA, and refusing to give up her coveted 2-top table she gifted it to me. ME. The feelings that came over me the minute she’d offered I’d imagine is similar to someone being told they’d just won the lottery. Maybe not like a million dollar lottery, but still, a “happens once in a lifetime” sorta thing. Without hesitation or worry I dropped everything on my schedule that evening; it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d had concert tickets, if I were ill, or if I had just won a shopping spree that I could only redeem that day during the time I could be dining at Maude… nothing was going to get between me and this meal.
Pre actual dinner reservation, I’d read that in short it had always been a dream of Curtis’s to open a tiny restaurant where he could regularly change the menu to feature the seasons best ingredients; and so with Maude he was able to make that dream come to fruition. Curtis with his tight knit clan of top notch chefs/staff each new month prepare a menu featuring a particular ingredient which is then showcased and used to create 9 beautiful, unique, and incredibly imaginative dishes that comprise the $90 tasting menu – which is a damn fair price. Should you be a wine lover and appreciator like myself, you have the option of adding an additional wine tasting menu to your experience as well, or simply ordering by the glass/bottle. – Take advantage of the in house sommelier though, wine makes everything better. Dining at Maude really is as simple and straight to the point as that, and more or less you’ll always have a pretty good idea what to expect. I love the thought of dining without question, thought, worry, or stress and simply eating what is put in front of you. Especially if Curtis made it, in which case bring me two.
Last month (February) when I dined with Maude the feature ingredient was “parsnip”; I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d had “parsnip” but I knew if I were to trust anyone with the task of helping me love it, Maude would be most likely to succeed. With each vintage plate, and every gorgeous slice of meat, cheese, perfect placed edible flower, or beautifully cut vegetable, it was 9 courses worth getting emotional over. I have had a lot of beautiful meals in my life, but that was one for the books, and it’s kind of a wonderful sweet thing knowing that I won’t necessarily ever have the same experience again. Maude now has me and every other past diner in the palm of their hand; I now want to know what every meal is like, every month. It’s torture pondering what I’ll be missing out on until my next visit. None the less let’s be real here, I am honored to finally have had the Maude experience and to have appreciated first hand all of the small beautiful details that come together to make one of the most spectacular and incredibly special dining experiences one will ever have – not just in LA, but globally.
I’d love to share with you my own photos from the evening, because Maude is quite possibly the most visually pleasing meal I believe I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying, but I’m afraid I cannot. My sweet, wonderful, trusty little sidekick camera that I take everywhere with me decided for the first time in history to fail me 1/4 of the way through dinner, and it would appear that almost all of my photos have come out entirely black. What’s my nightmare you ask? My camera deciding to play a nasty trick on me during the most important, crucial, most anticipated meal of my life. That I won’t be able to repeat in the future. Maybe I’ll start a gofundme campaign to raise money, maybe I’ll cry myself to sleep a few more days, maybe I’ll play my hand in reservation roulette, but until then this was an experience, regardless, you must have for yourself. Some day in the near future we’ll look back on this and laugh, but I encourage all of my LA foodies, and all of my friends thinking about making a trip to LA to plan a dinner you’ll never forget at Maude. These major reviews from every major publisher weren’t mean’t to be taken lightly, and feeling more complete now myself, I can confidently concur that there’s truth behind every single star and every positive statement that has been awarded to Maude.
Reservations | 310 859 3418
Beverly Hills | 212 S Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90212