Whenever my cousin Jimmy comes to town, he wants to eat at the hottest restaurants with the best people watching. Enter Michael Wilson’s eponymous restaurant, situated in the corner of snazzy new MODAA, the Museum of Design Art and Architecture. Chef Wilson, formerly of Venice Beach fave 5 Dudley and scion of late great Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson, emphasizes seasonal ingredients and Italian-influenced flair.
[Note: I forgot to take a photo of my favorite Wilson design element. Above the bar in the dining room is a blown-up postcard of a head chef leading his underlings (all in chef’s whites) on the roof of Manhattan’s Commodore Hotel, circa 1920. Very cool.]
Each meal begins with a terrific complimentary bread basket, including dark oat-crusted slices, soft Italian bread, and dynamite focaccia, served with a twin-compartment dish of balsamic and olive oil for dipping.
Juicy Jidori chicken came crusted with savory cilantro pesto, served atop spicy wasabi mashed potatoes.
Since Chef Wilson partners with Antonio Mure and Stefano de Lorenzo of Westside Italian restaurants Piccolo Ristorante and La Botte, it’s no surprise pasta infiltrated Wilson’s menu. Potato & fig tortelli came “in a bed of parmesan fondue.” I’ll sleep in that bed any night.
The meal was very good. Jimmy labeled it the best meal we’ve shared in Los Angeles, giving the restaurant high marks for food and the all-important buzz. He even collected a celebrity sighting to take back with him to New Jersey: Matt Groening.
August 8, 2014 at 9:23 PM
So sad that “Wilson” restaurant closed. The food was truly delicious. Hubby and I still talk about the meals we had there. Does anyone know if Chef Wilson is cooking elsewhere now?
August 8, 2014 at 10:42 PM
Ann, great question about what happened to Michael Wilson. I really enjoyed my experience at Wilson, back in the day.