Update: Fred Guerrero, writing in the comments section of the Patch story "," tells us that the opening date of the restaurant has been pushed back once again.
"Hi, I'm writing on behalf of Maximiliano, unfortunately we won't be opening until Friday, not Wednesday. Hope to see you all there!" Guerrero said.
previously: Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch was granted a table by chef Andre Guerrero during a test dinner served on Monday evening at his new Highland Park Restaurant, Maximiliano. The restaurant is scheduled to open its doors at 5930 York Blvd. on Wednesday, Oct 12.
Andre Guerrero has just saved Eastsiders a lot of gas money. Before Maximiliano, Guerrero’s new eatery on York Boulevard in Highland Park, Northeast L.A. residents would have to don fancy clothes and use half a tank of gas on the 10 west freeway to satisfy their craving for rustic yet sophisticated Italian food.
Seafood and Veggie-Centric Fare
Don’t expect heavy red sauces or lots of meat. Maximiliano leans more toward reasonably priced ($6 to $18) vegetable and seafood dishes. Starters include dishes like brandade, a puree of salt cod and olive oil served with salsa verde flatbread, or earthy risotto with porcini mushrooms, leeks and fontina. A salmon entrée is lightly dressed with a cherry tomato, lemon, and caper sauce and is accompanied by a just barely sweet pumpkin risotto.
Vegetable sides include roasted fennel with bacon as well as roasted heirloom Italian squashes served with honey, butter, five spices and Italian sea salt. Fellow diners Margarita and Lamgee Wong reported that the cavaletti pasta, dressed with a light red sauce, was delicious with “perfectly cooked” squid.
And then there’s the pizza, cooked by Chef Sainegee Wong--Lamgee’s younger brother--who also installed the broken, red mosaic tile on the front of the much touted, brand-new, high-end pizza oven.
Expect elegant flavor combinations like Squash Blossom Pizza with salsa verde and guanciale--a kind of Italian bacon--or the positively addictive Potato Pizza, featuring fingerling potatoes, spinach, sweet roasted garlic, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano--all atop a perfectly chewy crust with a lightly blistered bottom.
Olive Oil Ice Cream: Yum!
Pastry Chef Jan Purdy’s desserts include a lemon tart on a buttery crust with a smear of strawberry sauce on the side and an olive oil, caramel and sea salt ice cream. There are only two Craftsman of Pasadena beers on tap as of now--a lager and an ale--but bartender Ryan assures that several more will be coming soon.
The space is as elegant as the food. Guerrero has riffed on traditional Italian colors: The walls are white and celery green, with a two-story red wall facing York, etched with a design of white lines that pool at the bottom in an approximation of spaghetti. A dine-in bar allows guests to watch the magic in the kitchen, especially that pizza oven.
Allow Time for Parking
Parking on York Boulevard can be challenging, so allow enough time so you’re not late for your rendezvous with Maximiliano--your new Eastside Italian haunt, courtesy of Andre Guerrero.