Has anyone been to Lucques
Greetings from Boston,
Has anyone been to this restaurant. I'm curious about what you think of it, also how is the food and decor. Would you come to this restaurant if you had only one to choose from in all LA for a special dinner.
It is easily one of the best restaurants in LA. I have eaten there many times, twice recently, and the food is always wonderful. The short ribs are one of the best dishes in LA, and the steak for two is an amazing piece of meat. The chef, Suzanne Goin, also usually has a salad made of various heirloom tomatoes. If you like tomatoes, there is nothing better. Give the place a try. Tell them it is a special occasion and you would like to try to get a booth along the wall.
It's the last place I'd choose for a "special" dinner. I can sum up by saying, overpriced for slightly better than pedestrian food, snooty with attitude help, tables very close together, no salt provided as food is supposed to be "perfect" as it comes, minimalist decor and noisy, and a typical situation these last few years where very good PR made this joint "trendy" and so pursued by trendoids.
Two thumbs up, and they're both mine. I was taken there for my birthday this year and loved it. Also, there definitely seemed to be other people celebrating there, as it was on Father's Day. The food and the wine list are great. I felt they had good service and charming accents, like the small serving of almonds and olives before the meal. It was my friend's second time there and she loved it both times. The decor is subtly modern and slightly rustic. I've heard mostly good things from other people, as well. But also, my current favorite food in L.A. is in Venice at 5 Dudley. Very small and hidden and fantastic.
I have never eaten at Lucques. If I had only one meal to eat in LA and I couldn't spend Ginza (another place I haven't been) prices, I'd probably go to either L'Orangerie, the Bel-Air Hotel or Spago Beverly Hills. If I just wanted a good meal, I'd probably go to Mimosa, or maybe Le Chardonnay or even The Ivy. I can't recall any Jonathan ("Roadrunner")Richman quotes, but I think he and the Modern Lovers (or just him, based on "Something About Mary") would either go to The Ivy (if the industry was paying) or Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe on Melrose (if he was buying).
I've been to Lucques for several meals since it has opened, and my experiences have been consistently high quality. The building is an old carriage house and I've been most comfortable in the booths lining the wall opposite the bar in the front room.
The menu changes seasonally with a California/Mediterranean sensibility and an emphasis on fresh and environmentally conscious ingredients. By way of example, at a recent dinner I had a duck confit salad (w/ arugala, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and persimmon bits) and a lamb loin (w/ date chutney, cauliflower florettes and what seemed like fried chickpea souflee nuggets) from the new fall menu. Both were nicely complimented by red Burgundy.
Apart from the trendy clientele, the (celebrity) chef is hardworking and actually in the kitchen as opposed to walking around and working the room. She also has a talent for combining flavors so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Parenthetically, I think she worked in Boston early in her career.
So to answer your question, I think Lucques is definitely among the best restaurants in Los Angeles.
Oh yeah ........ to quote Jonathan Richman, "can you feel it out in Needham?"