Wilson: Modern California Fare With Architectural Flair [CLOSED]

  • Home
  • California
  • Wilson: Modern California Fare With Architectural Flair [CLOSED]
Restaurant Los Angeles

Wilson occupies the Museum of Design Art and Architecture's fashionable corner.

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.

Soup Los Angeles

Jimmy described one of the soups du jour, curry corn, as spicy but tasty.

Carpaccio Los Angeles

This beef & scallop carpaccio with caper dressing was a selection from the “foodbar.” Inexplicably, the dish had literally no scallop, just thin-sliced beef. I flipped the beef over, jabbed my fork in the holes of the beef slices. No scallop. At least it tasted good, starring top quality beef drizzled with oil and spicy dressing.

Salad Los Angeles

Baby field greens were served with luscious croutons, each topped with a different ingredient: silky prosciutto, fromage blanc Chevre, candy-esque eggplant, and herb pesto.

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.

Fish Los Angeles

This juicy swordfish and olive oil poached tuna duo was fabulous, served over the magical eggplant stew called caponata, a mix of eggplant, olives, onions, olive oil and more.

Dessert Los Angeles

Entrees were stellar, but there was some falloff with desserts. The almond-studded crust of the peach crumble was terrific, but it was dense and overwhelmed the few peach slices within. Crème Anglaise did nothing to remedy the situation.

Dessert Los Angeles

Chocolate pudding came topped with chocolate shavings. It was a tasty dessert, but nothing special.

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.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

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?

Ann, great question about what happened to Michael Wilson. I really enjoyed my experience at Wilson, back in the day.

Leave a Comment