The New Yorker certainly had this concept captured above, as feature writer, Dana Goodyear, wrote about a new dining experience called Wolvesmouth in Los Angeles. This is one of the toughest reservations to obtain. We do know that tinsel town folks like the edgy, but they are a fickle crowd, as well. How do you have lasting power on the LA dining scene? Chef Craig Thornton and his culinary crew at Wolvesmouth have filled that vacuum, righteously, and may bring their magic to a city near you. Lest we forget, it is always about that memorable experience!
The spark for this piece came from eldest son, quite the gourmet, who was exhilarated to be invited this week to a meal. That is where the mystique starts, as dining is by invitation only. And, it is one seating only for about sixteen diners, who are alerted by e-mail of the serving and are individually selected by Craig Thornton. Your dining companions can be an eclectic mix – a joining of celebrities and commoners, all seeking the extraordinaire in a downtown LA loft. They bring their own libations, too. There is no fixed price; you make a donation at the end of the meal – your determination of the value. The experiment is Wolvesmouth, the location is Wolvesden.
He prepares what he wants. The many courses reflect delicacies and intimate presentation. He exerts complete control and really does not seek replication across America. Author Goodyear shared his thoughts. “I don’t necessarily need seventeen restaurants serving the kind of food I do. When someone gets a seat at Wolvesmouth, they know I’m going to be behind the stove cooking.” His stubbornness is attractive, particularly to an audience defined by its pursuit of singular food experiences.
The wolf is a misunderstood animal to many – shy and sly, carnivorous, faithful to the pack, a hunter and a scary history. Mr. Thornton seems to exemplify that mystery with his culinary delights, his location, his reservation system and democratic exclusivity, and his dedication to do it his way. He has found a niche in the homogenized landscape of dining. Bon Appetit!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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