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Best of Los Angeles: Food & Drink

BY The Editors | December 27, 2016 | Feature Features

Be it an inspiring design showroom, a bold new menu or an exuberant comeback, in the City of Angels, creativity is thriving like never before. Here's a look at the people and places responsible for putting L.A. in the global spotlight, for 2017 and beyond.
GREAT TASTE Chef Curtis Stone has redefined fine dining in the City of Angels with his popular restos Maude and Gwen.

Like a Rolling Stone
From television to restaurants and back again, Curtis Stone’s effortless charm and discerning taste have left a lasting impression.

It’s safe to say that Curtis Stone, the handsome Aussie chef and international TV personality, had a lot more up his sleeve than picking up women in grocery stores and helping them cook a meal for their significant others (the premise of one show he hosted, Take Home Chef). Since settling in L.A., he’s wowed diners with two wonderful restaurants: the intimate Maude in Beverly Hills, and the larger and meatier Gwen in Hollywood, which he opened last year with his brother, Luke. From opening day, Maude, a 24-seat spot that features a monthly changing tasting menu centered on a single ingredient, has been one of the hardest reservations to get in town. The idea of fine dining in a consistently casual town was a bit scary, but he knew deep down it would work. “With so much going on here, and the great ingredients we’re known for, I saw an opportunity to do something really thoughtful and elevated,” explains the chef. “And L.A. had this really amazing appetite for it.” Gwen is much larger, sexier and a bit sultry with its art deco-meets-butcher shop vibe. Like its sibling, there’s a regularly changing “Feast” menu, one that’s almost a secret until dishes start hitting the pink marble tables: pork cheeks glazed on the asador that stands almost as an altar in the dining room; wood-grilled Japanese sardines; Australian-raised wagyu rib-eye. “We just wanted to bring something new to town, interesting game and meats that you don’t see everywhere else,” says Stone. With extraordinary, personal details and talented teams steering the ships, these are restaurants built for longevity. Outside of debuting a new TV show, My Kitchen Rules, which airs Jan. 12 on Fox, Stone’s plans for 2017 are strictly to make each place even better. “I don’t want them to just be hot for five minutes. I want them to become institutions in L.A.”

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