Former Top Chef contestant chef Marcel Vigneron has opened his first restaurant, WOLF, in West Hollywood. The menu features seasonal Los Angeles cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.
The name “WOLF” comes from the meaning of chef Vigneron’s mother’s maiden name. It honors her role in inspiring him to love good food, which began early on, when he spent time in her kitchen. Dishes utilize every possible edible part of each ingredient from seed to stalk.
WOLF’s décor is industrial, sleek, and rustic. Its bar is located at the very end of the rectangular restaurant. With large, round chandeliers providing lighting, diners can enjoy unique dishes under the domed wooden ceiling that Vigneron stripped and stained himself.
The menu is small and focuses on snacks, main plates, sides, and desserts. Vigneron left most of his molecular gastronomy techniques aside and focused on simple dishes that best utilizes quality seasonal ingredients. Highlights include Castelvetrano olives with preserved lemon and rosemary; burnt carrots; mushroom risotto; Thai shrimp dumplings; braised beef cheek with Jerusalem artichokes; lamb rack with Romanesco; crispy potatoes with garlic, aioli, and rosemary; and Miso black cod.
Pastry chef Rachael Harper is behind the desserts, which include a delicious chocolate cake and a blueberry soufflé with violet ice cream. Due to the acoustics, WOLF can be quite loud, but it’s worth a trip to Melrose to taste Vigneron’s tasty, rustic dishes.