Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Rate-A-Restaurant #274: Maximiliano
Location: 5930 York Ave. (Highland Park)
Type of restaurant: Italian
We stipulated: For Maria's birthday, I wanted to take her out to lunch, but we couldn't travel too far away from home (Blogger Kid needed to be picked up from school). As HUGE fans of The Oinkster in Eagle Rock, we've been dying to try chef Andre Guerrero's new Italian joint in Highland Park, Maximiliano, for some time.
They stipulated: "Kinda Old School Italian." From the website: "Chef Guerrero’s Maximiliano challenges assumptions about Italian American fare, satisfying cravings for quality while remaining affordable. Growing up down the street in Glassell Park, he fine tuned his skills at a number of well respected fine dining locations throughout Los Angeles. Returning to North East L.A. with the celebrated “Slow Fast Food” joint The Oinkster he changed the way Angelenos think about pastrami and pulled pork. He reminded us that a well made burger takes time and thought, and that there is no substitute for a hand scooped milkshake. With Maximiliano, Guerrero continues on his mission to elevate classic dining traditions by doing things the right way; with care, creativity and above all a respect for great food."
What we ordered: Pizza: Eggplant, roasted peppers, olive tapenade, burrata, basil ($12); Carbonara Pasta, bacon confit, poached egg ($12)
High point: We loved the crust on the pizza -- having a "red tiled Marsal pizza oven" in the restaurant really makes a difference. The selection of craft beers on tap is also a big draw.
Low point: Maria didn't like the olive tapenade on the pizza; I did -- the saltiness added a punch of flavor. But I'm not sure I like having the brunch menu double as a lunch menu during the week -- I would have liked to try some of the pastas available for dinner.
Overall impression: Highland Park is dramatically changing, with new restaurants popping up virtually every week. Maximiliano is head and shoulders above all of the others that have come to York. The prices are right, the restaurant looks amazing and the food is top-notch.
Chance we'll go back: Oh yes. We already love Highland Park for spots like Cafe de Leche, The York and Good Girl Dinette. Add Maximilano to that list.