Every month Curtis Stone and his crew at Maude pick a new produce item on which to base their menu. With August being peak corn season, Stone’s feeling particularly inspired. “With every ingredient, we start by talking to farmers and looking at the varieties available to us,” he says. “Then we say, What can we do to it? Can we juice it? Roast it? Panfry it? Turn it into a gel? Dehydrate it and turn it into a powder? With corn you can do all of the above. You think about the corn products in the world—from cornflakes to masa to ground, dried cornmeal—and the world is your oyster.”
On Maude’s summer corn tasting menu ($85 for nine courses) you’ll find everything from a modern take on traditional Mexican elotes to cornmeal crepes with fig ice cream.
Of course, Stone isn’t the only chef in L.A. getting his hands on California’s bounty of sweet corn. Here are other restaurants around town celebrating the peak of corn season with kernel-centric dishes. Get them while it’s still summer!
Summer Corn with Burned Avocado at Saint Martha
At this semi-hidden Koreatown restaurant, Chef Nick Erven pairs tiny but tender ears of grilled baby corn, which jut skyward on the plate, with mashed charred avocado, crispy squares of fried chicken skin, and a tiny dot of whitefish roe. You’ll want to eat those miniature cobs like Tom Hanks in Big.
Fried Soft Shell Crab with Summer Corn Relish at M.B. Post
David LeFevre deep fries whole Maryland soft shell crabs—another summertime staple—and arranges them over a bed of sweet corn relish, pineapple gastrique, and a tart-spicy sauce made with aji amarillo peppers, perfecting for cutting the crab’s decadence.
“Brentwood” Corn on the Cob at Rustic Canyon
At Rustic Canyon, chef Jeremy Fox likes prefers to let ingredients speak for themselves. For his “Brentwood” style corn, he grills up an ear of local summer corn and serves it with little dishes of Calabrian chili-spiked butter, grated Parmesan, and Maldon sea salt. It’s both beautiful and fun to assemble.
Egg Spaghetti with Roasted Corn and Miso Butter at Faith & Flower
Pasta for breakfast? Chef Michael Hung serves this satisfying combo for brunch at his swank Downtown restaurant: fresh egg spaghetti tossed with roasted sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and an umami-rich miso butter.
Khao Pote Ping Ping at Night + Market Song
At this Silver Lake Thai outpost, Chef Kris Yenbmaroong takes fresh summer corn-on-the-cob, slathers it with coconut milk and curry spices, and then gives it a nice char on the grill. Smoky, sweet, and a bit spicy, it’s the perfect summer companion to a chilly glass of wine or beer.