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Jul 16, 2012 05:46 PM

DineLA July 16-27, 2012

Where are you going? What are your favorites?

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  1. 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.

    1. Tried the Blue Stove at Nordstrom in Santa Monica. Surprisingly good. Will do a full write up later (on cell phone). Planning on trying a bunch of other places like Bouchon, Chinois, Craft, JAR, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PeterCC

        My write-up for Blue Stove is up: Will try to get my Bouchon review done after sleep and work.

          1. re: J.L.

            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.

            1. re: manku

              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).

              1. re: TonyC

                re: sunnyspot
                the wings and the flatbread are "normally" offered at happy hour for $6 each.
                dunno about any quantity differences, but not enough of a savings to cause me to go there during restaurant week.

          2. enjoyed lukshon tonight.
            will probably go back at least two more times before the end of restaurant week.

            9 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              And what specific dishes did you enjoy? =)

              1. re: westsidegal

                WSG: I was looking at Lukshon! I guess you liked it! What did you have?

                1. re: jencounter

                  tea leaf salad--ok
                  tofu noodles-- good (people who never eat vegetarian food will probably not appreciate this dish as much as i did)
                  sea bass---truly exceptionally good.

                  when i go back i will be trying the butterfish and the papaya salad for sure.

                2. re: westsidegal

                  There seems to be some confusion in the other DineLA thread... for Lukshon, is the party only allowed to order 3 of the items or is it 3 choices per person?

                  1. re: andytseng

                    i went alone and sat at the bar.
                    i ordered three items for myself.
                    dunno what would have happened if i went with a large party of people

                    1. re: andytseng

                      Special dine la menu with a limited selection, about ten or so, choice of 3 per person @ $25

                    2. re: westsidegal

                      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.

                      1. re: Xan7hos

                        I've found the same thing at my visits to Lukshon. It's not even like the elements work together like they do at A Frame/Chego. i found them horribly distracting...


                        1. re: Xan7hos

                          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. . . .