This could very well be my last post for food for a few weeks. Doing a special restaurant each week is getting rather grueling right now. I’ve decided to soften the blow, so I’ll go to Maude each month for the remainder of the year.
This is #26 of 52 (or 26?) of my 2014 LA food expedition.
For this month, the special ingredient is berries. Like my rhubarb meal that I went to 2 months ago, I was expecting this to be similar in that every dish would have strong presence and usage of some berry. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed because it didn’t meet my (overly high?) expectations.
1. Gazpacho with grape and cucumber. This was a nice refreshing first course for the night. It’s a warm 85 degrees outside, and this soup definitely countered that very well. It’s a defining summer dish. The soup is cold with some graininess along with the cucumber.
2. Lobster Roll with sea bean, celery, and tomato. The little nuggets on the plate are the lobster rolls. They were actually quite tasty. The red cube is simply a square cut of watermelon. In the cup to the left is the celery ice. The celery ice was pretty interesting because also like the gazpacho it felt good eating it.
3. Hearts of Palm with avocado, raspberries, and togarashi. The green mush is basically an avocado mash similar to guacamole. You also have chunks of guacamole as well. The bread crumbs from what I was told was sriracha infused bread crumbs, so there is some subtle spicy kick to it.
4. BBQ Octopus with pickled tomatillo, cucumber, and black olive. The octopus was grilled nicely. The tomatillo was also nicely done. This particular dish has some spanish influences to it.
5. Onion with pepper, blackberry, and radicchio. There are some pine nuts in it along with the onions. I am guessing the black blob is the blackberry mush. I thought this was pretty good taste-wise.
6. Crepe with gooseberies, stracciatella, and truffle. The crepe is actually made from buckwheat. Inside the crepe are some mushrooms and Australian truffles. I was expecting the truffle essence to be very pronounced, but I really didn’t get any. It also doesn’t help that I loathe eating mushrooms. Because of that, I find this dish barely tolerable. But for those mushroom lovers out there, my dining companion felt it was really good.
7. Squab with pickled blueberries, bean cassoulet, and brown butter. For those that don’t know, squab is basically domestic pigeon. There is some gamey flavor to it, but it was very subtle. I thought the meat actually was very tender. The bread pudding was a nice complement to it. Although whole blueberries were served to highlight the month’s ingredient, the star of this dish was easily the squab. I would’ve preferred the blueberries be used in some type of sauce instead.
8. Doughnuts. Two of these had some strawberry filling, and the last one had bananas in them. These were decent and nothing special.
9. Fresh Berry Tart with peach melba, passion fruit, and sable. I hate to say this, but this was one of the best dishes of the night. It made me wish a lot of the previous dishes accentuated the use of berries in it. This was phenomenally good. The berry tart was nice and chill but had a very distinct berry taste to it. The berries to the side also were very fresh and pronounced with flavor.
The last dessert dish that doesn’t count towards the courses is a trio of candy (top to bottom): strawberry marshmallow knot, some type of berry bread, and a white chocolate with berry innards.
As a little gift, they also gave us a vial of berry tea with a filter bag. Again it’s a nice gesture from the restaurant for having us. I wish more restaurants in LA did this.
For a $95 meal, this was pretty good. However, I felt my rhubarb tasting experience at Maude was far more enjoyable than this one in terms of taste. I was expecting many of the dishes, like the berry tart dessert, to have “in your face” berry experiences. I really had to look for the berry taste in most of the dishes. Despite these issues, I still felt overall the dining experience was very enjoyable and is still one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. Definitely expect a corn review to pop up sometime next month.
Visit: Maude, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
#26 of 52(?) 2014 LA food expedition