Are You Hungary?

Located on a non-descript, dim stretch of Tujunga Avenue, across from the North Hollywood Park, is the fine hideaway of “Maximilians” Austro-Hungarian restaurant.

The well-known Chef Laszlo Bossanyi, proprietor of the long gone “Hortobagy” restaurant, (a Studio City favorite), tackles his recent venture with ferocity. His goal: to bring authentic and traditional central European flavors to the multi-cultural hearts of NoHo, an idea as unique as salt on watermelon. The bi-lingual menu paves way for native Austrian and Hungarians, but the food is aimed for all to indulge.

Prepare for a complete sensory overload as you indulge your 10,000+ taste buds for an experience that can seldom be attained. While it is seemingly impossible to go wrong with any dish on the menu, traditional highlights include:

Stuffed Cabbage with sour cream à la mode (everything à la mode is better). This traditional dish, with border-less interpretations, encompasses a harmonious marriage of meats and spices to create an exceptionally subtle taste, surprisingly light and full of flavor. The cabbage is fork tender and when paired with the crunchy bite of sauerkraut garnish, you are well into food euphoria.

Veal Gulyás & Spätzle (pronounced Goo-losh & Spay-Tsul). The spätzle, a noodle-like dumpling similar to gnocchi, acts as an absorbent pillow for luscious chunks of tender veal, in a rich puddle of its own juices, onions and paprika. It’s a prime, frigid weather dish, which will warm any belly.

Just when you thought you were above and beyond, the Paprika Chicken is one of the most well known dishes. It is rare to find chicken cooked to perfection, but when you do, you never forget – this is one you will definitely remember. The paprika based sauce is slightly sweet with a hint of spice. The sauce is tasty enough to drink a glass full, or even easier, lick your plate.

Crispy Duck with plum mousse really tops the charts. The texture is moist inside and crispy outside – a lovely pair and works perfectly with the sweet plum mousse. Good luck finding this kind of fare readily available in local supply.

The Sour Morello Cherry Soup, a common summer dish, is served cold and can be eaten as an appetizer or dessert. Garnished with a spoonful of cream, it is irresistibly refreshing and addicting. Why can’t we eat this for breakfast everyday? A simple recipe can easily be made at home, however, Chef Lazlo pushes the importance of a sour cherry variety.

Very few things can initiate an instantaneous smile like the Apple Strudel. Akin to biting a sweet crispy cloud made of dessert heaven, it has a light and flaky crust, fresh apples, and is not overly sweet. You just might need to order another.

While enjoying these tasty treats, guests may dine in the outdoor rose garden and patio (also available for private events) which instantly transports you from the urban reality of NoHo to an unrecognizable setting, fit for anybody needing a short escape from daily life.

The Bottom Line – Apps & Dessert $4 -$12, Entrees $14-$22, large wine selection, elegant and romantic setting, truly Grandmothers cooking with nobility.

Maximillian’s Restaurant, 11330 Weddington St., NOHO Art District. For more information, visit www.maxiatnoho.com

Los Angeles born and raised, Scott Putman is the principle of PROFITdine, a restaurant financial advisory firm specializing in assisting independent operator’s success. www.profitdine.com

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