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Maison Café + Market
34320 Pacific Coast Highway
By Jenna Ross
Chef Danielle Kuhn opened Maison Café + Market with the mission of creating a space that felt more like home than a restaurant.
Kuhn has worked in the restaurant industry since she was in her teens; at 16, she was working at local establishments in Dana Point, like Cannons Seafood Grill. There, Kuhn learned the basics of management and the ins and outs of daily restaurant life.
After working at other restaurants and bars around Orange County she eventually worked her way up to a general manager position at 24. Maison is the result of over two decades of experience in the service industry.
Kuhn was born and raised in Orange County and currently resides in San Clemente with her two sons, Nate and Noah.
Maison means home in French, and the café holds up to its name.
“I want my customers to feel the same warmth and love that they feel when they eat a home-cooked meal,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn is French, Italian and Armenian, and although the café is primarily French, her recipes incorporate influences from many different cuisines. You can find anything from Dutch babies for breakfast to osso bucco for dinner on Maison’s diverse menu.
Maison offers a wide variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They maintain a high standard by only using organic, locally sourced produce and ingredients. Just like their menu, their wine list features a wide array of organic and sustainably sourced wines.
Only the freshest organic ingredients are used at Maison. Kuhn wanted to create a menu that was thoughtful and warm, just like home cooking. She also wanted to break the misconception that good food isn’t healthy food.
“We use ingredients that may be considered unhealthy, like butter, but when we do it’s 100 percent grass-fed and organic.” Kuhn said. “We also don’t serve anything fried, and if we do use oil it is only the freshest olive or coconut oil. No canola oil here.”
Maison is closed on Mondays, open 7-9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7-8 p.m. Sunday.