Lucques Revisited – Los Angeles


For some reason, it proved to be hard to find a restaurant open for a Saturday lunch in LA, so we returned to Lucques, in anticipation of more seasonal, inventive food.

apricot

To drink, I got the Copper Swan (right), which had Glenlivet and sweet vermouth with apricot puree and a splash of lemon. Frankly, I ordered it to challenge Lucques. I’ve had so many encounters with apricot flavorings at school that I wanted to see if Lucques could revitalize the flavor for me. Turns out that scotch and sweet vermouth make apricot very exciting.

I love when restaurants offer interesting cocktail menus, and two other drinks intrigued me: Strawberry Fields — Beefeater Gin and Lime Juice with Fresh Strawberries and Mint; and The Pisco Kid — Pisco Capel with triple sec, lemon juice, and loquat. I do like a bit of loquat.

beef

Chad got the Steak Frites with Arugula Salad, Bearnaise, and Herbed French Fries. It was only decent. Both the fries and steak were seemed too oily for me, at the expense of clean flavors; it seemed a little tired. The plating is also a bit sloppy.

pork confit

I got the Pork Confit with Sweet Corn Fregola, Sun Gold Tomatoes, and Mint Salsa Verde, which I was thoroughly happy with. It reminded me of my trips to the Davis Farmers market last summer, when I’d come home and make a salad of corn, tomatoes, and mint for lunch. Fregola is a Sardinian pasta similar to Isreali couscous with a slight wheaty/nutty flavor and firm texture; it’s not as gummy as Israeli couscous. Taste-wise, it’s a brilliant addition to the salad — adding a slight toasted wheat note that rounds out the corn and tomato flavors rather than obscuring them, and texture-wise, its similarity to the corn kernels was a great contrast. I was a little concerned by the solid piece of pork for a confit, but when my fork pulled it apart without any effort, I knew I was in for good times.

I liked the plating here, which is subtly so balanced/symmetrical and let me eat it without feeling like I was demolishing it after the first bite, as with many vertical platings.

ricotta

For dessert, I got the Ricotta Semifreddo with Strawberries, Huckleberries, and Hibiscus Syrup. It was such a hot day that the slightly floral berries were my main concern, but the ricotta was so fresh and softly grainy that I couldn’t resist that either. Oddly enough, though, a film of the ricotta grains adhered to our utensils, which was a bit off-putting.

quenelles

Chad got the quenelles of Blood Orange and Orange Sorbets, which were great… but after making hundreds of quenelles for culinary school, and having two quenelles in my dessert, my thoughts didn’t get much past “Nice quenelles.”

2 Responses to “Lucques Revisited – Los Angeles”

  1. rACHAEL Says:

    But how WAS the Copper Swan? I was there the other night (mmmm) and like every other visit, spent 30 seconds loving the name and contemplating if it would be good or painful…I wimped out, but would love to know what you thought!

  2. rACHAEL Says:

    (Blush) I see you did like it…

    Anyway, lunch here isn’t so hard, its just hard to find an upscale place that is open…there are lots of other options though! Try Monsieur Marcel at the Farmers Market….it’s perfect…or Absolutly Pho-bulous…mmmm….

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