Opening a small restaurant had always been a dream of Chef Curtis Stone’s, which is pretty surprising for a chef with such international clout. But after studying under Marco Pierre White, writing multiple cookbooks, and judging Top Chef Masters, that’s exactly what he did – and he named it after his grandmother, the woman who inspired him to cook in the first place. Maude is an intimate, 25-seat restaurant where no-one is far from the kitchen and where the food’s plated – in a nod to grandmothers everywhere, as well as current foodie trends – on vintage, often floral-patterned dinnerware. The draw here, and the only thing on offer, is the nine-course, seasonally-inspired, market-driven tasting menu, which takes one particular ingredient as its focus and weaves it through the whole meal.
An interesting idea masterfully executed, the tasting menu has showcased everything from peas to truffles since the restaurant opened in 2014, often serving them in surprising, original ways. Who knew you could make decadent petit fours from the humble potato? You can look ahead through the year to see which signature ingredient Chef Curtis Stone will be modelling that month’s tasting menus on and try to aim for a table then. Like we said, you can try; reservations are notoriously hard to come by. Maude was one of the Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best New Restaurants in 2015 and topped many of the best restaurant lists in LA the year it opened, too.