Loving Luna Park
After enjoying a couple of meals at the bar in the past, my wife and I went to Luna Park (on LaBrea near Wilshire) the other night with four friends. The place was packed and I was afraid they would keep us waiting, but we were quickly seated and had a great time.
We started with two appetizers - the goat cheese fondue and the tuna poke. Both were very good and perfect for sharing. (Fondue is sort of fun if the cheese is something other than Velveeta.)
Four of us had the grilled chicken with brussels sprouts as a main couse. The other two had the pork cutlet. The chicken is fine, but it's the brussels sprouts that make the dish. They're apparently done in honey and served with toasted hazelnuts. Hard to explain why, but it all goes together really well. The cutlets were sort of thin and crunchy and another good choice. Finally, the corkage was only $12.50 per bottle.
I highly recommend it to those who haven't tried it, even though it's dark and sort of loud.
My experiences there have been somewhere in the middle, I suppose.
The food was middling at best, the waitstaff was friendly but SLOW and forgetful (every time, and I've been there a number of times).
The drinks aren't all that great, but it's hard to find good ones (that aren't just Makers on rocks) without paying $10-25, you know?
Parking isn't all that peachy either, but at least there may be street parking available a few blocks away, tucked away in residential areas...
I hate to be a contrarian, but...
I'd had a couple of good meals there and really liked the vibe. One of the few places that pull off the bar / restaurant hybrid effectively without too much of one and not enough of the other. Great young crowd and not particularly offensive service for such a "hip" place.
But...went there for dinner about a year ago and had an awful experience. Incredibly slow and inattentive service. It took FOREVER to get our drinks while waiting to order dinner. I ordered some sausage pasta dish and about 4 or 5 bites in, I bit into something that did not want to be bit into. It was the metal ring used to hold the sausage in its casing. I know these things can happen, but needless to say, i was extremely put off. The waiter apologized and offered to get me something else, but i had truly lost my appetite. He came back soon after and, after apologizing again, offered up dessert. I of course assumed this was going to be gratis - it wasn't. My wife had a few bites of the cookie, and detected a taste akin to gasoline. I took a small bite (don't you love when your spouse makes you taste their foul food?) and confirmed the offending flavor. She threw up 4 hours later.
Sure, every place has off nights. But this was so top-to-bottom awful I will not go back. Which is a shame because it's so close to my house and i like the vibe.
Not trying to rain on your parade, just felt compelled to share my experience.