Padded box for storage or gifting
No juice groove
Knife cuts are visible
Sonder Los Angeles Motley Cutting Board would fit our needs. We used it for cutting and serving, we washed and dried it, and we used it again and again, so we could decide whether it was worth keeping in the kitchen. Read on for all the details.
Size: Generous space
At 13 x 17 inches and 1.1 inches thick, this is a large board, which makes it great for serious kitchen cutting, and for serving. We found that this board was large enough to hold all of our cut vegetables while we worked, so we didn’t have to constantly move the food to a bowl to get it out of the way. However, the large size can be a bit of a drawback when cleaning if you don’t happen to have a large, deep sink so it can be washed and rinsed without splashing.
Material: Many woods
Made from a combination of edge-grain black walnut, cherry, and maple, the Motley is sufficiently hard for cutting board use without dulling kitchen knives.
Design: So pretty, it might go on display
The wood colors are purposely arranged to create a multi-wood stripe that accents the dark wood of the rest of the board, making it quite attractive. While the colors are carefully arranged, it should be expected that wood grain patterns will vary from board to board, making each board unique. Because it’s so attractive, we’d guess that some cooks will preserve this board just for serving, and use a more utilitarian board for aggressive kitchen use.
The deep, rounded groove along one large end of the board offers plenty of possibilities.
Grooves in the short edges of the board are mostly invisible when looking at the board while in use, but we found that they were very handy places to hold the board when we needed to move it. The board weighs 6.25 pounds, so it’s not lightweight, but it’s easy enough to move around the kitchen and dining room.
The deep, rounded groove along one large end of the board offers plenty of possibilities. Our first thought—and our first use—was to use that groove to hold crackers while we arranged a variety of cheese on the board. It could also be used to hold skittish foods, like olives that might otherwise roll off the board rather than staying neatly in place. We particularly liked the way it looked when it was filled with small bright red tomatoes.
That large groove isn’t a substitution for a juice groove, though, so we wouldn’t recommend this board for carving meats or for cutting very juicy fruits and vegetables since the liquid could easily run off the edges of the board. Small amounts of liquid could be scraped into the groove, though.
For kitchen use, we used the groove to corral mise en place when chopping herbs and vegetables for a recipe. While that groove wouldn’t be able to hold all the potatoes for a stew, it’s great for small amounts. It could also be used to collect scraps that will be discarded.
The wood colors are purposely arranged to create a multi-wood stripe that accents the dark wood of the rest of the board, making it quite attractive.
The opposite side of the board is completely flat but still has the pretty stripe, so it can be used as a standard cutting board, or for serving things that won’t roll away. We liked it as a serving platter for a pile of sandwiches and look forward to using it on a buffet for sliced meats and cheeses.
This board comes in a lightly padded box that’s great for storage if it will be preserved for serving, and also makes it nice for gifting. If the board will be used for kitchen use, the box can simply be discarded.
Maintenance: No dishwasher
The board should not be washed in the dishwasher or soaked in water. It should be washed by hand with soap and water, then dried by hand before being set out to completely dry before storing. Even if only one side of the board has been used, the manufacturer says it should be evenly wet on both sides during cleaning. The board should be oiled occasionally with mineral oil or a board conditioner, as needed. If knife gouges get too deep, the board could be sanded to restore the surface.
We wouldn’t recommend this board for carving meats or for cutting very juicy fruits and vegetables since the liquid could easily run off the edges.
Before we used the board, we applied a light coating of oil, but none of it absorbed into the board, which meant it didn’t need any extra conditioning and was ready for use.
Durability: Will develop a patina
If this cutting board is maintained well, it should last to be passed down to the next generation. That means it should be washed properly, dried completely, and oiled when needed. As we used the board, knife cuts were very visible on the dark wood, appearing lighter. Once we oiled the board, the cuts turned dark and were less visible. We don’t mind seeing the patina of use on our cutting boards, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Price: Good for wood
Compared to plastic cutting boards, the Sonder Los Angeles board is expensive at around $60. Still, compared to other high-quality, attractive wooden boards, we feel the price is right where it should be.
Sonder Los Angeles Motley Cutting Board vs. J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board
We also tested the J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board, which is roughly the same size, but slightly more expensive. We have to say that the Sonder board is more attractive for serving, but while it’s great for slicing vegetables, it would be less successful for juicy foods. The J.K. Adams board is built for carving with deep juice grooves, and we love it for that. In fact, we’d recommend the J.K. Adams for anyone who needs a quality carving board. Meanwhile, the Sonder board is ideal for serving cheese and crackers before the roast arrives. Get both; they’re good companions.
Interested in checking out more options? Take a look at our roundup of the best cutting boards.
We love its attractiveness.
We fell in love with the Sonder Los Angeles Motley Cutting Board at first sight, which is a good thing and a bad one. It’s so attractive, it might end up being reserved for serving and not used for kitchen work that would mar the surface. We have a weakness for attractive kitchen gear, so we looked forward to seeing how it looks for serving.
- Product Name Motley Cutting Board
- Product Brand Sonder Los Angeles
- Price $59.95
- Weight 6.25 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 17 x 13 x 1.1 in.
- Material walnut, cherry, and maple wood
- Warranty 1 year extended warranty with registration