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Maximillian's North Hollywood

Hughlipton Feb 22, 2009 06:54 AM

Decided to try the Hungarian-Austrian Restaurant operated by Laszlo who used to be with Hortobagy. This is a great venue on Tujunga and Weddington in a mixed use neighborhood across from the tennis courts at North Hollywood Park. We got there early 6:30 and by the time we left the place was full. No one was waiting but virtually every table was filled.

I had the Oxtail bullion with liver dumpling soup which was more than I could eat and my wife had the asparagus and shrimp salad which was also a good sized portion. Both were tasty and as good as I had hoped for, Normally my wife and I split a main but we wanted to try the different dishes. Wife had the chicken paprikash. The flavor was excellent and the meat was not dried out. Portion size was large and could have easily been shared as was my sauteed liver dish which rather than being served in slices was cort of cut into small bits. I eat liver once or twice a year and was quite pleased with this choice.. Chicken came with spaetzle and mine with rice and potato.

Split an Apple Strudel for dessert. As good as I ever had in Europe. I had a glass of white wine with my soup and a glass of red with my main course. Tax, tip and all came to $90 even.

Plenty of parking in the lot or on the side street of Weddington where the entrance is. Give this place a try.

  1. Servorg Feb 22, 2009 03:05 PM

    Hugh, thanks for a nice, comprehensive review. I love this type of comfort food and will strongly consider trying it out the next time we happen to end up out NoHo way at dinner time. Liver is one of those dishes that I really like, but shy away from ordering because most of the time it has too much connective tissue or just isn't very tender - so your report has my interest piqued. Do you feel you got your money's worth? $90 sounds a little steep for the type of food. But, then again, it also sounds like you weren't going to be hungry again anytime soon after that dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg
      n
      noshie Feb 22, 2009 03:12 PM

      $90 sound steeper than Hortobagy and I don't see a wooden plate on the menu (I am going to call to see if they can make it special)

      1. re: Servorg
        Hughlipton Feb 23, 2009 12:16 PM

        This place is not the old Hortobagy. This is a high end well decorated and staffed restaurant. My expectations were fulfilled and I did not find the prices for the experience and food to be exorbitant. As I tried to point out my wife and I ordered much more than we normally would have had we been there before. The chef was most addommodating and friendly and walked the room a couple of times. I didn't see the wooden plate either but I really believe if you called he would make it happen.

      2. j
        Jerome Feb 23, 2009 03:48 PM

        Went for Champagne Brunch there yesterday. $25 a head. Selection of salads (cucumber, salmon, couscous, potato etc) and desserts. Lovely room. Had a good time.

        Burgenlander plate is close to the old wooden plate. If you really want that, call in advance and see if it's possible to get it. He accomodates most requests even for off-menu items.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Jerome
          barham turner Feb 24, 2009 10:35 AM

          Hate to swim against the current here, but I visited Maximilian's with a group of five a week ago and was definitely underwhelmed. When we arrived at 7 pm, there was only one table of four in the restaurant (and yet they didn't have a table set up for five, although we had a reservation). A few other people came in during the course of the evening but it was basically nearly empty. That in itself wasn't a problem, although I worry about the restaurant's ability to survive. But the service was extremely slow. We were in no hurry, but it would be way too leisurely for most folks.

          Most of us ordered salads as appetizers, and I thought they were pretty good. But the goulash (they spell it gulyas) really lacked flavor. It was neither meaty nor spicy, just a watery beef stew with some paprika. If you're opening an Austro-Hungarian restaurant, I think the goulash should be a strong item. I wouldn't order it again. The spaetzle which came with the goulash had been cooked some time before and was not reheated. Hot soup on cold spaetzle ... not a great combo.

          The Wiener Schnitzel was quite good, thin cuts that were crispy and golden brown. One of us had the salmon and loved it (I didn't taste it). The chicken paprikash was creamy, spicy and flavorful. My husband and I ordered the tafelspitz (boiled beef) which was disappointing. The meat was tough and lacked flavor. The accompanying condiments included sour cream, a very mild horseradish sauce and what appeared to be canned apple pie filling. I don't get how any of these would have enhanced this dish.

          The wine service was poor. I ordered a glass of Gruner Veltliner, an Austrian white, and as soon as it was poured I knew we had a problem; the wine was dark golden. "How old is this?" I asked our waitress. She went back and brought out the bottle. It was a 2002 vintage. My guess is that this is a bunch of Gruner from the old Hortobagy restaurant that the owner is trying to pawn off on his new patrons. The wine is old and oxidized and should be poured down the drain, not served to diners. We instead ordered the house cabernet which was fine.

          The desserts were actually the high point of the menu. We asked the waitress if they were made in-house, and when she said they all were, we ordered three: the dobosh torte, the palaschinken and the sour cherry strudel. All were pretty terrific, particularly the palaschinken (crepes) and the flaky, warmed strudel. Like the entrees, the dessert portions are large and good for sharing.

          Depending on what you order, you can have a pretty good meal here, but the menu has some major weak spots. It's too bad, because this style of food is hard to find in Los Angeles these days. I'd love to have a terrific Austro-Hungarian place in the 'hood, but I'm in no hurry to rush back to Maximilian's.

          One final note: the bill for five people was $155 including tax but without wine or tip. That was with four appetizers, five entrees, three desserts and a couple of coffees.

          1. re: barham turner
            j
            Jerome Feb 25, 2009 02:59 PM

            the gulyas is more a soup than a stew, traditionally. check out the wikipedia picture. THat doesn't excuse it from being bland, though.

            1. re: Jerome
              Hughlipton Feb 25, 2009 04:48 PM

              Laszlo officially opened i believe on January 21. He may still not yet have his staff in synch. I can only tell you that what my wife and i had would certainly propel us back to the restaurant to venture further.

              1. re: Hughlipton
                c
                carter Feb 25, 2009 06:36 PM

                Hugh, were you ever there before in its previous incarnation? Does it still look like a mortuary inside or have they done a bit more to warm the place up. Before the tables were far apart, as if a health or fire code issue, which made it even less cozy, yet obviously better for the hearing challenged - namely me!

                1. re: carter
                  maxzook Feb 25, 2009 07:45 PM

                  I haven't (yet) been inside, but the place still looks like it should have hearses parked outside. In fact, I think it may actually have been a mortuary before it first opened as a restaurant.

                  1. re: carter
                    Hughlipton Feb 26, 2009 12:07 PM

                    I found it a bit warmer because of the very open kitchen then it's predecessor. The staff is obviously superior to the previous and the chef does walk the room. If my wife drank I would have briought my own wine ($15 corkage and cheaper than the two glasses I had, but I hate to open a rare bottle and not finish it).

              2. re: barham turner
                k
                kevin Feb 25, 2009 10:31 PM

                does he serve real schlag rather than canned whipped cream on the austrian desserts?

                1. re: kevin
                  Hughlipton Feb 26, 2009 12:10 PM

                  Having had the incredible experience of having had schlag in Saltzburg I know why you would ask. There is one place and one place only to have schlag and that is in Austria. The whipped cream a Maxamillian's certainly did not reach that level but certainly it was not cream whip either. My wife said it was superior to most, and who am I to argue with my wife.

                  1. re: Hughlipton
                    k
                    kevin Feb 26, 2009 12:22 PM

                    actually just tried some schlag again at a steakhouse on beverly drive, it was actually listed on the menu as such.

                    1. re: kevin
                      Servorg Feb 26, 2009 12:28 PM

                      Also offered at Wolfgang's Steakhouse (Peter Luger West?) in B. Hills.

                      http://wolfgangssteakhouse.com/

                      -----
                      Wolfgang's Steakhouse
                      445 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                      1. re: Servorg
                        k
                        kevin Feb 26, 2009 12:48 PM

                        Yep, that's exactly where I was at. It's uncanny how closely the printed menu resembles the Peter Luger in Williamsburg, Brooklyn menu.
                        Maybe the steak itself is a notch below Luger in realization and the surroundings are much more sheek and civilized than Luger's German beer hall and sawdust enriched floor atmosphere.

                        I had the schlag topped on the ultra rich Chocolate mousse Cake. Heavy, stuff for sure, the schlag itself could have top sided a cereal bowl and then some.

                        actually a bowl of it and some strawberries would be an even better dessert.

                        and dipping some of the onion rolls in their patented steakhouse is darn delicious.

                        1. re: kevin
                          Hughlipton Feb 26, 2009 01:53 PM

                          I buy Peter Luger's Steak Sauce at Gelson's regularly. The concept is not new and therre are equals. Until disocntinued Knotts turned out a Steak relish which was almost exactly the same, Monty's does the same type as does Pacific Dining Car. I believe the sauce started on the east coast and came west in the ;later years. Love that steak sauce and to keep the thread continuous love good schlag.

                          1. re: Hughlipton
                            k
                            kevin Feb 26, 2009 05:22 PM

                            you're right the stuff at pacific dining car is pretty darn good too.

                            by the way, if i'm not mistaken, the steaksauce has tamarind and anchovies in it. which may explain why it tastes so damn good.

                            www.moviefoodie.wordpress.com

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