Though I've cooked from the book and snacked at the bar, until my birthday earlier this week I'd never had a proper dinner at celebrated chef Suzanne Goin's first LA spot, Lucques. Here are the top 5 reasons the dinner rocked (thanks J!):
1) A perfect start, part I: drinking the bar's well-made sidecar, with a dash of vanilla and some fresh squeezed citrus.
2) A perfect start, part II: the small dish of the restaurant's namesake olives and oven-roasted, olive oil slicked almonds delivered to your table delights with rich flavors and satisfying crunch, and the intimate act of eating with your fingers sets the mood.
3) The farmers' names show up on the menu: those crosnes I mentioned earlier this week, from the Weiser farm stand? Listed as "Alex's crosnes" in the description of the rabbit dish I ate.
4) Cozy, cozy, cozy: the fireplace, the booth seating, the warm wood, the scented-but- not-stinky candles in the bathroom. LA's cold snap conquered!
5) The complex, layered, comforting dishes: every bite of my rustic and hearty stuffed saddle of rabbit warmed me to my toes. Similarly, my white bean and wild nettle soup toasted my insides while tickling my nose with its peppery bite.
For a more detailed report on dining at Lucques, check out fellow foodblogger A Finger in Every Pie. Update: also check out Monster Munching for a report with pictures!
For those of you not celebrating a special occasion but wanting to sample the Lucques magic, visit the bar after 9:30 PM for its late-night menu, including a marvelous steak frites and a decadent grilled cheese sandwich with roasted shallots.
8474 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA