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Disappointed at Lucques last night...

d
Dave and Stuff Dec 1, 2006 11:08 PM

Friendly staff (Including Valet, Server, and Host). But our reservation was lost.

Great cocktails, including a "Sangria Blanco" that was served likea martini, but was one of the best drinks I've had in LA.

Brandade served lukewarm. Tasty, but I just can't dig cool salted cod and potato.

Fruit salad with jamon was gorgeous, and the individual ingredients were delicious, but the flavor just didn't come together.

Ditto for my Black Cod over Pumpkin Puree. Loved the components seperately, but didn't think the dish worked as a whole.

My date's suckling pig was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, but also only served warm, not hot, but we waited so long for our plates that we weren't interested in sending it back.

Main courses delivered over 40 minutes after appetizers were cleared, and when they showed up, neither was hot. This is just about my least favorite mistake to have happen in a restaurant.

"Hot food hot, cold food cold" is how the saying went when I was in restaurants.

Sweet Potato Beignets were excellent, but accompanied by a caramel sauce that came "out-of-the-refrigerator" cold.

Very unfortunate, as I could tell the ingredient quality was exceptional, but the execution really underwhelmed.

Might try again for Aunday Supper, but at $200+ for two, I absolutely didn't leave feeling like I'd received what I'd paid for.

  1. c
    cvc Dec 3, 2006 04:10 AM

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345818

    Well, we overlapped favorably in a couple of areas.

    1. d
      Dogbite Williams Dec 3, 2006 03:00 AM

      Our office party was held at Lucques on Friday afternoon. The seven previous years it was held at Spago, which I definitely prefer.

      We had two appetizers, a nicely flavored and very tender lamb on pita chips and a citrus avocado on some sort of lettuce spears. Both were very good. Neither was as good as the smoked salmon-cream cheese-dill pizzas and the spicy tuna cones from Spagos.

      My steak was also good, but it has a ribbon of fat that Spago's never had. I made a mistake in not selecting the grouper which was our other choice. The flavor was superb, but I was told that grouper was "flaky like red snapper." I find red snapper to be too watery and not firm enough for my tastes, but the grouper was just fine.

      The bittersweet chocolate dessert was excellent.

      The room had just enough of an opening very high up for the sun to shine through right into my eyes which was a very unpleasant experience.

      Spago's is clearly better to me.

      1. c
        carter Dec 2, 2006 05:03 PM

        The optimum temperature for eating food and getting the maximum flavor is warm, not hot, if meant to be a hot dish. Likewise, a cold dish should be closer to room temp. to get maximum flavor even on an item like ice cream, even though running is a problem in that instance.
        Now whether the food was ready 10 or more minutes before the server got around to bringing it to you is another issue.
        I have always had wonderful food, very good wine selections served at appropriate temps., and the service like at any restaurant has its ups and downs, depending on way tooooo many factors for any place to get right every night.
        As to value, everyone will judge by their impressions created on the most recent visit.

        9 Replies
        1. re: carter
          d
          Dave and Stuff Dec 2, 2006 08:24 PM

          Thank you for the (condescending) lesson. As a 22 year veteran of the foodservice industry, I am very aware of how food should be sent out.

          As my most recent visit has been my only visit to Lucques, then 100% of my opinion was informed by an off night. Thus, the only opinion I have of Lucques is that it disappointed.

          1. re: Dave and Stuff
            g
            globlamega Dec 7, 2006 08:03 AM

            Dave and stuff, Although I challenged your motives re: Doug Arangos, I must agree with you about Lucques. I've never had a terrible experince there, but the food to me was underwhelming with some very odd combinations. Also portions were small. I've always enjoyed their desserts however. And Carter, it's a shame you don't make the same concessions for Arango's as you do for Lucques in saying and I quote "the service like at any restaurant has its ups and downs, depending on way tooooo many factors for any place to get right every night. As to value, everyone will judge by their impressions created on the most recent visit".
            I've read many of your other posts and feel you are usually pretty fair. So why not to DA's?
            PS.... not for anything but you were a little condascending to Daveandstuff LOL. Take care and goodnight

            1. re: globlamega
              d
              Dave and Stuff Dec 7, 2006 06:52 PM

              Glob, I appreciate your comments. I prefer not attacking any posters personally, but rather just report the good and bad experiences I have at LA restaurants, so that people are informed (both the restaurants and guests). In my heart, I guess a little piece of me hopes that restauranteurs read this board and want to improve their places. I could have complained to the management that night, but the evening was better served by not. This is the way i have of expressing my self to the business, and I hope that they are listening.

              It does bother me a bit when someone questions the motivation for a review, because I feel like my opinion is as valid as anyone else's on the boards, and a negative review shouldn't make one assume that I work for the "competition around the corner".

              For the record, I have no motives beyond wanting a good meal when i go out. I LOVE raving about a place where I had a good time. Hopefully soon I'll get a good one, and you'll see.

              1. re: globlamega
                c
                carter Dec 7, 2006 09:35 PM

                I have never had anything less than a good to waaaaaay better than good food and experience at Lucques, yet that one experience at DA was so dreadful as to not warrant the thought of a repeat visit. And the prices at DA are at least the same, yet the help, environs, food and wine miss on all counts - yes, based on that one experience, but....!

            2. re: carter
              k
              krushdnasty Dec 7, 2006 08:12 AM

              "The optimum temperature for eating food and getting the maximum flavor is warm, not hot, if meant to be a hot dish. Likewise, a cold dish should be closer to room temp."

              hey, thanks for the heads up buddy!

              lolz! like anyone here didn't know that.

              1. re: krushdnasty
                Maxmillion Dec 7, 2006 07:25 PM

                Actually I didn't know that. I found the information carter provided quite informative and not at all condescending, though I might have felt differently about reading it if I were as knowledgeable as Dave and Stuff appears to be.

                Sometimes even obvious information can be useful to some readers.

                1. re: Maxmillion
                  d
                  Dave and Stuff Dec 7, 2006 07:33 PM

                  Do you know when the food you are served is hot enough?

                  Do you know when it's not?

                  If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are exactly as knowledgable about food temperatures as Dave and Stuff.

                  1. re: Dave and Stuff
                    k
                    krushdnasty Dec 7, 2006 09:04 PM

                    I was a bit buzzed and not too friendly myself in my earlier reply to Carter. Sorry folks!

                    oooooops. I meant to reply to Max. What I meant to say was that "hot food hot and cold food cold" is a restaurant industry euphemism for "serve food at its appropriate temperature". Carter just misinterpreted the jargon by taking it literally. No real harm done.

                    And btw... some food *is* best served hot. French fries, crispy duck skin etc. We humans refuse to be limited to just a middling range of temperatures.

                    And ice cream? Well if its not zero degrees C. or less then is not solid. It never gets near "room temperature". Its just that ice cream can be COLDER than zero degrees. Its just gonna get more solid. And less enjoyable because of the dampening of the aroma/taste components. So served at -20 C. (like most freezer temps) is less desireable than letting the ice cream warm up to around 0 degrees C. Its not gonna get near room temperature though.

                    1. re: krushdnasty
                      d
                      Dave and Stuff Dec 7, 2006 09:39 PM

                      I wish I had expressed myself as well as you just did.

                      Thank you for having the words to say what i was thinking.

            3. r
              radman123 Dec 2, 2006 04:04 PM

              My girlfriend and I had the exact same meal described in the first post. She seemed to like the cod - it tasted OK to me. The Pig was good not great and same thing with the service - very nice but off

              my bill with drinks and apps was just about $125 (passed on desert)

              i think i would go back for lunch

              1. m
                Mr. Cookie Dec 1, 2006 11:46 PM

                Ditto for four of us who went to Lucques the Weds before TG. A garbanzo soup sounded interesting but was bland. My eggplant/tomato/cheese main dish was OK, not outstanding. My friend reported the rabbit was mediocre. The choice of wines by the glass was not broad and a little oddball. Afterward we all agreed on one word: disappointing.

                1. f
                  fooddude37 Dec 1, 2006 11:37 PM

                  I've only had one experience at Lucques, I've been meaning to go back to give it another shot, but I had similar things to say. I could tell there was good effort, good quality ingredients. Strangely, the suckling pig I ordered back then was, and I'm serious here, BONE dry and extremely tough. I couldn't finish it it was so dry. It was also blazingly hot, such that when I cut into it, plumes of steam came shooting out. I'm not sure what the cook did. It was undercooked because it was so dry and tough (the fat hadn't rendered into the meat, the meat hadn't relaxed, the connective tissue hadn't broken down) but when reheated to order must have sat in a 500 degree oven for 20 minutes. I was so underwhelmed and annoyed at this point (and had waited long enough) that I didn't send it back. Desserts were pretty great though.

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