A friend of mine had finished her first marathon yesterday morning and we decided to celebrate that night. There aren't a lot of options for dinner on a Sunday night in LA, thankfully though, there is Lucques. Hungry Cat and A.O.C. have been welcomed additions to the LA dining scene but there is something really special about Lucques; it is simple, it is elegant and it is tasty.
A phone call at 7pm got us a table at 9pm. We arrived early and were politely asked to wait at the bar. It was crowded and the whole place was buzzing. Two busy bartenders poured out a few glasses of wine and a spot opened up on the couch, a comfy couch too I might add.
In about 15 minutes we were brought to our table, right in the middle of the patio. Warm bread, olives and menus were quickly ushered in. Before I knew it, I was already tasting two different white wines in an effort to determine which would pair with the Veal that I was having and the Halibut that my companions were having. The waiter and the staff appeared only when we needed them to be, with food and drink in hand, and ready to chat at the our behest; perfect service.
The Sunday supper meal in itself is a no brainer. The salad and the dessert are set in stone, all we had to do is choose between meat or fish. The set price lets you know what you and your wallet are getting into. And the kitchen makes sure that it all tastes delicious. The tender veal matched with a savory pan sauce. The potatoes that were blanched, sauteed then braised(with saffron) served with a perfectly grilled halibut. The balance of pairing foods with other foods combined with the hours of works to make three dishes happen on one plate - it is why you go out to eat.
But you already know this. Lucques gets much praise on this board and elsewhere. The real reason I wrote this was because on a busy Sunday night with a last minute reservation Lucques was able to custom plate a dessert for my friend that had finished her first marathon. It was so hectic in there last night I wasn't sure if they were going to be able to pull it off. They did. When a reastaurant can fire on all cylinders on a Sunday, after two additional openings(I know HC is Lentz, but, really, come on) and a James Beard, it should be noted. Lucques is a treasure of Los Angeles.