When Maude opened, I asked the same question I ask about other celebrity chefs: "But can Curtis Stone cook?" I went the first time for the artichoke month and the answer was a resounding "Yes, Curtis Stone can cook, after all". Before leaving for Boston, I went back for the morel menu.
If you're not familiar with their concept: Maude serves only a prix fixe menu, which changes every month. Each month's menu is built around a particular ingredient: artichoke, rhubarb, morel mushroom, pea, and so on. The prices vary, since morel is obviously more expensive than peas.
For starters, Popcorn, Australian winter truffle, and shaved morels
I loved the next course: Risotto, citrus butter, chicken-stuffed morel
Rock Kanpachi crudo with pickled morels, avocado mousse, herbs, passion fruit snow
Soup, rosemary, oyster crackers
Followed by Seared Scallop with garbanzo, wild garlic, pickled watermelon rind, roe, morel foam
Since Maude has an open kitchen and a tiny dining room, you can see the cooks from any table, preparing what is possibly your next dish. We got excited when they started smoking a dish.
|The cooks smoking our next dish|
Raviolo, consomme, truffle crumble, watercress
There's always a raviolo on the menu, but each time it is prepared differently. This time it is densely filled with scallop mousseline. Morel consomme is poured tableside.
I've only been here twice, so I can only compare it to the raviolo filled with a runny egg. They're both excellent in different ways. This one is slightly lighter and accentuates the consomme.
Pork belly, pickled morel, cilantro jalapeno puree
The jalapeno and the pickle cuts the richness of the crisped pork belly.
Lamb, green garbanzo, eggplant, leek
A well balanced meat dish with nicely pink lamb.
Taleggio, onion, charred peach, nasturtium
Incorporating mushroom into a dessert is pretty challenging, but Maude handled it very well. The first dessert is an Ice Cream Bar with coffee and morel
Another dessert followed: Black Forest Floor (dark cherry, chocolate, hazelnut)
The chocolate crumbles certainly does make this dish look like the dirt in a forest. While the morel isn't apparent you can definitely detect earthy notes it imparts on the dessert. Loved the combination with cherries.
Mignardises: financier, raspberry and dark chocolate truffle, strawberry and chartreuse hard candy
I rarely return to the same restaurant within a short period of time, especially a fine dining restaurant - there are just so many places to try in LA. But I loved Maude during my first visit in Artichoke month and their monthly menu is a concept that draws people to return. Corn month is coming, I love corn! And truffle month during the holiday season! And so on ... I have yet to be lucky enough to see Curtis Stone in the restaurant, although my friend has, so don't come in expecting a celebrity sighting. Instead, be assured that you will have an excellent meal utilizing the theme ingredient in ways you never thought of before.
212 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212