Categories: Supper Club
Date visited: September 2014
Price: by donation (what you think the meal is worth)
Thanks to a very special person who put in exceptional effort to make me a happy fat piggie, I had the pleasure of being invited to dine at one of Wolvesmouth’s private underground supper experiences this week. It’s been called the “toughest reservation in LA” because there is no guaranteed waitlist or secret password to get in. In fact, there aren’t even routine gatherings on scheduled days or weeks; sometimes there are none, or occasionally once or twice weekly. Each time, Thorton handpicks eight or nine invitees from the thousands requested and these lucky attendees are notified via email of their invite date. Each can bring a guest.
Located at Chef Craig Thorton’s very own “wolvesden”—a Downtown LA loft, which I presume is also where this culinary artist lives—the dinner’s exact address is disclosed only to the invitees the morning of. That night, I had an all-round exquisite meal—the most beautiful I’ve had in Los Angeles yet (and hard to beat, I would say…).
For a rough idea, imagine this: Gather an intimate party of <20 foodies. Give them space to mingle and exchange in a cozy, open-kitchen-dining-room; surround them with raw and provocative abstract art pieces; and unwind the urban tension with an ambient-fitting soundtrack that plays fluidly throughout the night (the songs of which will match with the pace and taste of each dish). And, of course, present a parade of eclectic but balanced dishes that are almost too pretty to eat. No caviar, foie gras, bone marrow or [insert animal] paté; nor do you have scallops, filet mignon or panna cotta dusted with gold leaves. It was avant-garde yet humble—all pretentiousness at typical tasting-menu-only fine-dine restaurants whipped away.
To those unfamiliar with Craig Thorton, he earned a position on Zagat’s first “30 under 30” list in Los Angeles. His instinctive and hypersensitive oral sensory developed, ironically, through humdrum beginnings. Having to grow up on government-backed food stamps and groceries, he says on The New Yorker, “I had a lot of bad, so I can detect bad quickly. I can taste it. I know when a piece of meat has been sitting and reheated, because it has the same flavor as that canned meat.”
Thorton’s delicacies were nothing short of splendor. Aesthetically, they were original, expressive and a mosaic of colors; palate-wise, they were flavorful, soothing and sharp.
Here are the nine-courses I had that night:
This dish just killed it. There are no words to describe how mind-blowingly orgasmic the cornbread honey ice cream was. It had a peanut-butter creamy consistency, along with a bit of wheaty-granola crunch. It's like a thousand million happy cells exploding in your mouth. Just as I thought the meal wouldn't get any better... it did. The honey coconut crunch is also beyond this world. Hands down my favorite dish of the night. (Even my companion, who does not generally like or eat dessert, praised the dish for being the best he's ever had and would love to have more.
To say that dining at Wolvesmouth is an artistic culinary journey is an understatement; it is a soulful almost-visceral experience... a perfect union of food, art, and music. I can only hope to return soon again.