DineLA July 16-27, 2012
Where are you going? What are your favorites?
This year I'm planning a Friday lunch at Chinois. If the filet in Szechuan sauce is the same as their dinner menu, it is an outstanding dish.
Last year I really liked the skirt steak for lunch at Gaucho Grill, Brentwood. This year they are offering some skirt steak and chicken brochettes. A couple years ago i tried the steak lunch at Bizou in Santa Monica. Disappointed. I also had a big argument with the lunch manager at Wilshire, where they changed the menu from what was offered on the website but the item (crab cake, I think) was still on the regular menu... I've had nice lunches at Ocean Avenue Seafood and Cafe Montana.
My big complaint with this year's offerings is that most of the lunch menus have gone up a buck or two but have deleted the desserts and gone from three courses to two.
Ditto...I'm done with Dine LA, which has really been going downhill the last couple years. Chinois was a joke last year, Fogo got rid of the free desert, etc...
At most, you might be getting a free desert (of the restaurant's choosing) with these meals...not worth it for a limited menu, IMO.
At most, you might be getting a free desert
Someone has been running the math:
Continue to stand by the Craft rec from previous years. They've done no wrong in the last 4 renditions of DLA. And summer time is probably the best for enjoying pastry chef S. Swindle's desserts.
I wouldn't go to restaurants I don't want to go to, even during DineLA (ie, Lukshon/Sunny Spot), but there's nothing wrong w/ going to joints that aren't busy, that always offered solid food (Blue Cow Kitchen).
Had Lukshon monday night. Had the Hawaiian Butterfish, Steamed Cod, Soft Shelled Crab, Lamb tartare, Pork Ribs, and Green Papaya Salad. Overall it was somewhat disappointing. My overall impression of Lukshon is that there's too much distraction going on in their dishes, and I enjoyed individual elements more.
The butterfish itself was delicious, however the dish suffered from the pickled ginger and other toppings which distracted from the very beautiful protein. The steamed cod dish was uninteresting and it resembled a fish steak on light tom yum soup..probably my least favorite dish of the evening; I would have preferred a bolder, more flavorful sauce.
Soft shelled crab was fried to delicious perfection..the sauce was forgettable.
I wanted more lamb/meaty flavor from the lamb tartare. Texturally I liked it, however I think the meat itself was overwhelmed with a) an overly strong sweet soy sauce, b) sichuan peppercorn (which actually was alright with the dish, but it lingered on for the rest of the meal so I recommend saving this dish last). c) some sort of mint/herb was equally overwhelming.
Pork ribs were very porky in a next day reheated in the microwave sense, and I feel like this dish is definitely a missed opportunity with a lack of smokiness (IMO smokiness was replicated via the addition of cocoa?) and a glaze that didn't amaze.
The green papaya salad was near textbook and albeit maybe a bit safer than other places (It may lack certain authentic touches seen at decent Thai places like fermented crab bits). However I do give kudos to the crispness and freshness of the produce.
Overall I'm not discounting Lukshon as a whole yet, definitely a lot of dishes yet to be had, but as of now I'm in no rush to return.
PS: Loved the free desert. Condensed milk reduction was like a silky perfected vanilla pudding. Carrot cake was also really good.
ate at lukshon for the second time last night:
fwiw, respectfully disagree with your opinions about the cod and the butterfish.
had both of them last night, and, this was the second time i've had the cod.
to, me, on both occasions, the cod dish was perfectly balanced, had a great combination of flavors, and was presented well.
as a matter of fact, i'll probably be going back there tonight to have this dish for a third time.
secondly, to my palate, the toppings on the butterfish were wonderful accents--they were used very judiciously and added to the taste experience without AT ALL overpowering the delicate fish.
guess we'll just have to disagree on these. . . .