The Hollywood Reporter's 20 Most Influential Chefs in Hollywood
Just as there are writer's writers and artist's artists, there are chef's chefs. And Taymor is their prince of the moment, the still mostly unknown talent most frequently invoked by others on this list as the one to watch.
His Alma (952 Broadway) -- a shoebox-size, modestly decorated station next to a run-down Latino hostess club in downtown L.A. -- has, since its opening last summer, become a byword for ambitious, superseasonal cooking. Cases in point: Taymor's sea urchin toast with licorice herbs and caviar, or pigeon roasted in a salt crust on a bed of hay. For all its flair, flavor is still king.
"We won't take things and change what they are," says the nephew of choreographer/director Julie Taymor. "It's important to me that everything taste like itself."
Favorite dishes of regulars Alison Brie and Dave Franco: "During my most recent visit, it was the pigeon with roasted blueberries and onions," says Brie, who also calls the seaweed beignets "spectacular," to which her boyfriend Franco adds: "Once you've finished an order, don't fight your instincts to get another."
Where else Taymor eats: Night + Market, where he tucks into the crispy rice and pork salad.