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I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner at Maude last night. This month each of the nine courses incorporates rhubarb. Every course was interesting and flavorful.

A few favorites -
Asparagus with brown butter croutons and rhubarb vinaigrette
Branzino with rhubarb, fennel, pickled peppers & squash blossoms
Duck breast with leeks, beets, rhubarb and savory granola
Ginger Parfait - vanilla rhubarb gratin, salted honey & almond streusel

The staff was competent and friendly, the rooms is pleasant and the pace of the meal was spot on.

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  1. I love rhubarb. I couldn't get in though. I'm admittedly jealous! Very sad to miss the rhubarb menu =(

    1. It all sounds so terribly gimmicky...the chef needing to incorporate a single ingredient into all 9 courses. It sort of reminds me of Chopped. But on the other hand, folks who go to the restaurant seem to like the food. Trying to decide if I want to go!

      24 Replies
      1. re: josephnl

        People seem to LOVE the food. With that being said, I'm gonna pass on the $125 morels and see what's happening in July.

        1. re: set0312

          So, there is no morel to your story then? (I'm so very sorry for not being able to resist my punishing impulses!).

          1. re: set0312

            With that being said, I'm gonna pass on the $125 morels and see what's happening in July
            No need to wait. July is berries. Morels was a real pain to book (3 hours of calling non stop on May 1st). Berries should be easier. Not saying easy. Just easier than morels.


            1. re: Porthos

              It all looks incredible. Thanks for the link!

              1. re: Porthos

                "3 hours of calling non stop on May 1st"

                S&M is as old as humankind. It's association with food, however, is fairly new.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    S&M is as old as humankind as well though.

              2. re: set0312

                I called them 2 weeks ago and got the dreaded corner seat at the chef's counter for mid-June, but price wasn't announced yet.

                Yikes, $125! Having 2nd thoughts, but I'll keep it. I'll be done for a while after this visit.

                1. re: FoodShutterbug

                  It's $115 - not as bad as $125 ;)

                  I'm going next month as well. Hope it works out for the both of us.

                  1. re: chrishei

                    My bro is still raving about his time here. Have fun!

                    1. re: jessejames

                      Thanks! Maybe I'll tell you about it next time I run into you at Shunji lol.

                      1. re: chrishei

                        I hope that is soon. My wife myself shunji u and your pals need another date

                    2. re: chrishei

                      Thanks @chrishei! $115 is still a bit steep, but never having had morel before, the 9 courses should more than sate my curiosity :-)

                      1. re: chrishei

                        Hey Chris,

                        Sorry it's taken me a few days, but about my thoughts on the meal I had at Maude on 6/17/14, I'd say it was an excellent intro to Morel mushrooms for the uninitiated such as myself. A few thoughts:

                        Strong dessert program:
                        As I experienced during the Citrus theme in February 2014, desserts by pastry chef, Vanessa Garcia were very strong and a special highlight. I went in very skeptical about whether or not the Maude team could successfully pull off Morel desserts, but that was accomplished with flying colors, imho with the Morel ice cream bar and brilliantly so with the Black Forest Floor dessert. The Mignardise at the end was intentionally devoid of Morel, as conceived by the Maude team to "give the diner a break" according to a server.

                        Slightly sugary savories:
                        While not faltering in execution, I'm not exactly a fan of how Maude adds a sugary note to savories. I would've preferred that the Passionfruit Snow that came with the Kampachi crudo be a separate course or in a shot glass. I tend to taste all of the components of a dish separately if presented in a deconstructed manner before composing my bites; the Morel Anglaise Foam for the Pork Belly course was also a wee bit sweet for my tastes. Still, I attribute my lack of cheery enthusiasm to my preferences and would not lower my overall rating for the Morels tasting menu, nor my cumulative experience at Maude (5 stars to be eventually posted somewhere on the internet).

                        My missed Food Porn opportunity:
                        Posting pics from the Morel meal. However, please note that I'm missing a photo of the Duck Egg dish, which came in as #6 if you count the Morel popcorn as a 1st course (cursed be the effects of the wine -- I lost track of what I photographed :/ ).

                        The Duck Egg dish was delivered to the table covered with a porcelain lid, the hickory smoke scenting the contents underneath -- a photo op not to be missed, hope you have better luck than I did.

                        A list of photos I'm uploading to CH-LA:

                        1. Amuse | Brown Butter Popcorn with Morel Salt
                        2. Acquerello Risotto
                        3. Cream of Morel Soup
                        4. Kampachi Crudo
                        5. Seared Scallop
                        [Photo missing for 6. Duck Egg]
                        7. Raviolo
                        8. Pork Belly
                        9. Lamb Saddle
                        10. Cheese course | Taleggio [looks like a baked gooey cheese ball]
                        11. Coffee and Morel | Vanilla Ice Cream Bar
                        12. Black Forest Floor | Chocolate Cake
                        13. Mignardise [No Morels used in Mignardise]
                        14. Morel Salt tin and menu as a parting gift

                        1. re: FoodShutterbug

                          While the likelihood of my making it to Maude are probably about equal to my owning a flying pig or a talking dog I had a bit of a laugh when looking at your very nice food photos. Number 8 made me think you had a Spam course, but I guess it had to be pork belly...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Servorg, since you seem to know every LA restaurant discussed here, I'm curious why you rule out Maude's.

                            1. re: VenusCafe

                              Well I can't take my wife there. She won't do a tasting menu at any restaurant because she has very restrictive likes and dislikes. I would like to go, but it's just not going to happen due to circumstances beyond my control.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                I feel your pain. gotta keep the squaw happy.

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  We are coming up on our 28th wedding anniversary...so far, so good!

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      Admirable, indeed. I made it only 24 years. And that exhausted 3 wives.

                      2. re: FoodShutterbug

                        Oh, how sad...they quickly left the value pricing of $75/dinner huh?

                        Considering Orsa is doing 8 courses for $85, it seems like 9 for $125 is a bit of a rip off =/

                        1. re: BacoMan

                          Obviously pricing changes based on ingredients. Morels are more expensive. I would expect truffles in December to be even pricier and pricing to return to $75-80 for corn and tomato. Pricing has been adjusted to $115 for morels according to their website.

                  2. glad you liked it fg - we loved peas!

                    1. that may have been the best duck dish I've ever had. Was outstanding.

                      The ginger parfait was also fantastic and one of the standouts.

                      Great dinner.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TailbackU

                        I am sure peas were great and morels will be as well. The rhubarb was incorporated so well into each course and the evening didn't feel gimmicky or like it was trying too hard at all. Yes the duck was amazing as well as the dessert. There were four of us and there was not a single item that was not delicious.

                      2. You go flowergirl! Clusi followed by Maude. Well done to say the least!

                        1. I wish I liked it as much as you did.

                          This is a concept restaurant. The concept being take one seasonal ingredient and be clever with it in 9 ways (more or less).

                          I think that's limiting. No matter how much I like one thing, it starts to feel routine after a while. Then again, if I love rhubarbs maybe I would like it more (don't have a problem with rhubarbs but I never crave them, never even bought them before.) I am more enthusiastic over morels and I'm sure I would have enjoyed that. But 9 courses worth? I don't get the idea.

                          Anyway I love the restaurant, the size, the look. The service was great. Food was expertly prepared and presented. But if I had a chance to go here or say, Providence for the 20th time? I'd go to Providence, or n/naka. Or Melisse. All do not have constrictions of trying to be clever with one ingredient. They're allowed more free range and the culinary fun/buck value is higher. Looking forward to Curtis Stone without the shackles. If that ever happens.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                            I've not been, but I am totally aligned with many of your comments. In addition, I neither wait in line or remain on telephone hold more than a few minutes for anything. Thus, I guess Maude is not in the cards for me at least until the hype dies down.

                          2. Great report, Flowergirl!

                            Was wondering if there was a pasta course? When I went in February for the Citrus month, they served a large duck ravioli.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: FoodShutterbug

                              they had a sweetbread ravioli. Seems like they will always have a ravioli course because when i went for Citrus month, they were also serving a ravioli. It's actually not their strong suit. Both raviolis i had were the weak point of the dinner. Not bad, just not really good to spectacular like the other courses.

                              1. re: TailbackU

                                Agreed - the ravioli was good but not one of my favorite courses. As far as the key ingredient (rhubarb in my case) It is subtly incorporated into each course and Maude does not feel like a concept restaurant at all.

                                1. re: flowergirl

                                  Thanks @Tailback U and @flowergirl. Someone told me the duck ravioli filled with a runny egg (Artichoke month?) was rather successful. The duck ravioli for Citrus month was ok -- I prefer my duck confit'd as opposed to minced or ground into a filling.

                            2. Had the morel tasting menu last night. Incredible meal. Pricey, yes, particularly with the wine pairing but this was so worth it. Every staff person is exemplary and the food was sublime. The food was often very inventive and creative, such as the amuse-bouche of popcorn dusted with morels to an incredible single morel stuffed with chicken served over some of the best risotto I've ever tasted. Yet never was a dish over the top ridiculous, as some restaurants create. Every single dish was outstanding. (Another big hit was when they brought a tin lunch box to the table, opened it and inside were 4 small homemade ice cream bars on sticks.) The night even ended with each of us getting a lovely container of Morel scented salt. This restaurant is divine.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Tom P

                                Thanks for the report!

                                Looking forward to it in a couple of weeks.

                                Did you happen to look at the wine list? Reasonable markup or over 3x?

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  I did not look, sorry! They have two wine pairings. One pairing is under 100, and then the pairing with even better wines was over 100. You can also order by the glass or bottleā€¦ we did the pairing so we did not even look at the list. We all splurged and did the higher priced pairing, and the wines were splendid.

                                2. re: Tom P

                                  maude has really vaulted to the top of the heap, or near it, in short order...can't go this month too bad but sounds great. the rhubarb menu was great, one of my favorite ingredients. I usually don't like this foo-foo kind of food but somehow the "theme ingredient" seems to force them to keep it somewhat simple and rustic at the same time.

                                3. Getting reservations is next to impossible. I tried the last two months on the 1st of the month. It's a crap shoot if you can get into the reservation line.

                                  The one thing I'll give them is if you leave your number with the reservationist they will call you when people cancel. I've been called 3 times in the last 2 weeks with last minute openings. Granted a 4 person reservation at 5:30pm on Tuesday isn't exactly what I was looking for but could be a good option for more flexible folks.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: js76wisco

                                    They had openings last night as well. We were supposed to sit at the bar (4 of us) and ended up at a great table. It's worth the hassle.

                                  2. Here is the menu from last night. A little more elaboration:

                                    The two amuse-bouche, as noted previously, were just amazing.

                                    The mushroom soup was everything you could want in a mushroom soup. (This came out in gorgeous mis-matched delicate coffee cups, as from a grandmother's house. Many of the dishes were served in similar, beautiful, 'mis-matched' plates and saucers, etc. Lovely.) This was later topped by a divine mushroom consume with the raviolo.

                                    I loved the kampachi, particularly the passion fruit snow, aka a granita of sorts, which was incredible mixed with this kind of avocado mousse.

                                    We all though the scallop was the best scallop we've ever had, perfectly cooked. The pickled watermelon rind was a revelation.

                                    I could go on and on! Take a look and see what you think. The menu doesn't even include the wonderful ice cream bars. And the Black Forest Floor was one of the most original and wonderful dishes I've ever had, a wonderful mixture of ingredients, mostly sweet, that did indeed look like it was found on the floor of a forest, with a dusting of morels as well.

                                    So good!!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Tom P

                                      Sounded like an amazing meal. Wish I was there.....oh I forgot, I was. Hi Tom

                                        1. re: xoxohh

                                          There is truly culinary magic going on at Maude, which I will get to in a minute. Our first dinner at Maude was "Artichoke" month. Shall I lie and express that I tasted this ingredient through the various courses? I won't lie, as this flavor did not come through for me. I cared not however, as the meal was so over the top stunning, that words really can't do justice....a scallop sushi that Urasawa should only serve, a pan fried Pork rillette, smoked foccacia with perfect Camembert etc. etc. etc. That first experience was like I had died and gone to heaven. I decided to become a once per month diner at Maude, and never see a shrink again :)

                                          Dinner #2 was Rhubarb month, and again, another stunner of a meal.

                                          But you know how things go in this life....how can a reprise ever be the same as "that first time"?

                                          Well here comes the magic that I eluded to in the beginning of my post. Last night we were with friends for Morel month, and besides this meal stunning on every level, and with the umami flavor of this mushroom in every course, it was as exciting an experience as the very first time we dined in this jewel box of a restaurant. Truly the same "first time" feel. I am still on cloud 9.

                                          Cheers all.

                                      1. Epicuryan posted his review of the morel menu:


                                        His prose has gotten a whiff herbaceous and gentrified, but it's still a good read. ;-)

                                        6 Replies
                                          1. re: TheOffalo

                                            this is where I would go for a non-sushi/ethnic type of meal instead of a joint like tar and roses...the rhubarb dinner was awesome. I look forward to returning and knowing that there will be something entirely new. Again, it would be enhanced for me if they had cocktails/liquor too but I can appreciate the wine pairings from time to time...

                                            1. re: jessejames

                                              On the lack of hard liquor availability here and at other places, such as T&R, I don't mind because 1) I generally want wine (and a good wine list) with dinner and 2) I like to go to a place near the dinner destination for cocktails (a place that serves the hard stuff) and then walk over to the dinner venue for food and wine. Thus, being restricted to wine and beer at a very good restaurant would never be a disqualifying factor, or even a significant one, for me. But I can understand that others may feel otherwise.

                                              1. re: Wayno

                                                I just love a good cocktail to start the meal and some places do some really clever and great ones...I also enjoy some cognac, or something similar at the end with certain kind of meals....but I like your thought of pregame drinks too...maude is just fabulous and I would gladly go back anytime.

                                                1. re: Wayno

                                                  It drives me bonkers - why are there are so many beer/wine licenses and so few full bar licenses ? I thought Prohibition ended. Dumb, useless bureaucracy protecting nobody and nothing, but, of course, their own jobs.

                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                    I support your rant. It amounts to a gov't shakedown. Bullshit law.

                                            2. Just saw that reservations for Maude can now be made on Open Table.....

                                              2 Replies
                                                1. Apparently chrishei and Johnny L set a record on their meal tonight. How long did your dinners take, those of you who've been?

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: TheOffalo

                                                    Record for length of time or amount consumed or, both?

                                                    1. re: JAB

                                                      Length of time. He didn't say exactly how long, but he was checked in on 4sq just after 5:30 PM and texted me at quarter past 7 telling me they set a record according to staff. So 1.5 to 1.75 hours, give or take?

                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                        Record for least amount of time then?

                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                          Yes sir. The servers and manager were surprised at how quickly we ate - neither of us ate anything all day.

                                                          BTW, excellent meal.

                                                          1. re: chrishei

                                                            I usually hate foo-foo kind of food with foams and other crap, but I really did like maude -- it has an iron chef kitchen stadium kind of feel, and look forward to other theme ingredients...fast eater here too, about the same pace as you guys.

                                                            but, would you have rather eaten at shunji?

                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                              Some of the dishes at Maude appeared to be heavy, but I was pleasantly surprised at how light they were relative to expectations. Arguably top 5 meal of this year. But would I rather eat at Shunji? Of course. But there's no way I'm kicking Maude out of bed. OTOH, I would never date a girl named Maude...

                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                  Fortunately you can be polyamorous with restaurants even if you can't be with relationships, monogamous ones at least...

                                                                2. re: chrishei

                                                                  Somewhere out there is a supermodel/sushi chef/sports fan/computer geek named Maude...

                                                      2. re: TheOffalo

                                                        Been twice and both dinners were under 2.5 hours.

                                                      3. Morels tonight:

                                                        1. chrishei finally posted his review of the morel meal which he and Johnny L did as a sprint rather than a marathon: