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Feb 17, 2008 01:33 PM

AOC vs. Lucques

Definitely want to eat at one of these during my week in LA. Thoughts on one over the other? I don't find any recent head-to-head discussion.

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  1. Well, AOC is more of a small bites concept, whereas Lucques is largely the traditional appetizer, entree and dessert style of menu. Both have good wine selections.
    Do you want to experiment with more varieties of flavors, yet not large quantities of any, or would you prefer the usual dinner arrangement, a la Lucques?
    Take a look on the websites and see which has more appeal. As to AOC, better get reservations asap unless you just want to drop in and sit at either the cheese or the wine bar.
    The food and ambiance are very good at both.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carter

      If you don't sit at the cheese or wine bar, and you get a reservation, book for the rooftop patio. It's cozy and comfortable (heaters in case it's cold), and a LOT more quiet than the main restaurant. I have found the main restaurant to be too noisy for my comfort. The food is wonderful. Enjoy.

      1. re: purplescout

        Agree about AOC's main dining room. It can be very loud. Room off the main dining room is better as well as the areas upstairs - both the rooftop patio and the 4 to 5 tables inside.

    2. I'm not sure either is a must with what you have in the Bay Area. But choosing one, unless you absolutely need a sitdown traditional dinner, I'd say AOC. And you DO want to sit at the cheese or wine bar, unless you have too large a party.

      1. there isn't any "head-to-head" per se because while both destination restaurants in LA, they're entirely different. AOC is a wine bar with small plates; Lucques much more standard with great fare. I'd hit up Lucques for Sunday Supper if I were here on Sunday. AOC is especially great if you enjoy eating small plates, want to share with companions, and/or like good wine. also do you have an atmosphere presence?

        1. Every thread and choice gets expanded: Now that Emme has mentioned Lucques' Sunday supper, I'm reminded of grilled cheese night at Campanile. I've enjoyed Campanile more than Lucques, and I think part is due to my tastes and part is due to the room -- I prefer the high campanile, the brightness, the energy and the open kitchen.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            I haven't had it, but the grilled cheese at Lucques is supposedly amazing. I've been meaning to drop by at the bar one day and order it there...

            1. re: QualityMart

              The grilled cheese night is at Campanile, on Thursdays I believe. I recall it was started by Nancy Silverton, who would man the sandwich presses. I doubt she does so consistently anymore, especially because of her involvement with Pizzeria Mozza and the Osteria too.

              1. re: nosh

                Mark mans the presses at Campanile now--he probably got custody of them in the divorce.

                1. re: nosh

                  I know about grilled cheese night at Campanile. But that's not what I'm referring to. Lucques has grilled cheese (and a few other entrees as well) on their bar menu, available every night except Sunday after 9:30 pm or 10pm on Fri/Sat.

            2. Small plates and tradtional courses both work fine for me. Outside of that, the food's generally similar in style, right? If so, I think maybe I'll go for AOC on the basis of price.

              Sunday at Lucques looks a lot like Monday at Chez Panisse. Not that that's a bad thing.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Similar in style? Errrm .. I guess. Maybe a little bit. The influence of the chef does have a certain consistency. But there isn't much overlap in terms of what you'd eat.

                I don't think there's a ton of difference in price. The plates at AOC are small and you can easily spend $50/person on food alone, similar to an expensive entree.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Welcome to LA! I read your posts on the SF board all the time and enjoy your posts. I would say without a doubt AOC...I just think the food is a bit more refined, not fancy but very clean and a step up. Someone mentioned the rooftop but I would recommend trying to get a table in the room that is just off the main room. There are about eight tables, it is so much nicer in there, you can hear the "buzz" in the other room but you are not in the middle of it.