Wolvesmouth

Secret address
East Hollywood, California 90029
Wolvesmouth

Anne Fishbein Chef Craig Thornton

Wolvesmouth isn’t quite a restaurant. You can’t walk in, you can’t make a reservation, there are no prices (you pay what you want). But it’s also more, now, than just a supper club. Chef Craig Thornton, who for years ran Wolvesmouth out of an Arts District loft, has recently moved into an East Hollywood house that he bought, gutted and retrofitted especially for the purpose of feeding people his extended, symphonic tasting menus. If you can get a seat at the long table that runs down the center of the house — alongside a giant open kitchen — you’ll have access to some of the most exciting, inventive food being served anywhere. A nine-course meal might start where most would end — with rib-eye, because, Thornton reasons, “This is the time in the meal when you’re most hungry, so I want to give you the heartiest thing now.” It won’t look like any rib-eye cap you’ve had before, though, and the flurry of ingredients the chef mentions as he drops plates in front of guests aren’t detectable, either. “Creamed kimchi, Asian pear, sabayon, squid ink dumpling, shallots?…?” It barely matters that it looks more like modern art than food. It’s delicious; it makes you think and it makes you feel. To get a seat, you sign up to receive invites, then respond to those invites, then cross your fingers. The competition is fierce. The rewards are huge. —Besha Rodell
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