Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunday Supper at Lucques

My friend Ryan, an ex-cook at Lucques who now lives in New York, insisted that I go for Sunday supper at Lucques when I was in LA. Oddly, I’ve never eaten there on Sunday night so I went with my friends Paul, Chris, and Sue to check it out. I had another major reason for going too: Amanda, another friend, has been cooking at Lucques for several years and I wanted to see her in action.

First, let me say Sunday supper at Lucques is the best deal in town! Any town. $40.00 for a prix fixe meal? Are you kidding me? The cost of the ingredients must have come close to that. Sunday supper has always been important to me. It’s the meal I love to cook and share with friends. I think it is brilliant that Suzanne Goin, the owner of Lucques, is offering just the kind of meal I like to share with others at the end of the weekend. Her success with it comes from the heart which is where this kind of meal should originate. I think she knows that. Also, there is nothing better than a prix fix meal when you don’t want to waste time making decisions. You just know you are letting the kitchen do what they do best.

The menu that evening was in honor of Hooks Cheese Company from Wisconsin. The meal was superb, simple, and satisfying. We started with a plate of Hook’s 10-year-old cheddar served with an apple and pickled raisin chutney along with a parsley and celery salad. The cheese was so interesting, don’t know how to describe it except it was milky, smooth, elegant and had a slight rich/sweet finish. I remember a cheese like that from my childhood but can’t quite place it. The chutney and salad were good with the cheese, but I have to say the star of the show was the amazing bread they serve at Lucques. That bread is seriously delicious with amazing density and flavor. I asked the waiter where they got it and he said they bake it over at AOC, a sister restaurant of Lucques. (I wish I had brought a loaf home). My main course was Niman Ranch baseball steak with duck fat persillade potatoes, walnuts, Hook’s blue and an arugula salad. I never heard of that cut but it was cooked to perfection. The roasted potatoes were crunchy just as I like them and the duck fat served them well.

I brought a bottle of 1997 Rudd Cabernet Sauvignon and it was slightly corked. No one else at the table thought so and I didn’t want to spoil it for them, but I couldn’t drink it. A bottle of corked wine is so annoying especially when you carry it all the way out from NY for a special meal. Luckily, Lucques has a great wine list so there was no need to get anxious.

Even Paul and Chris, the toughest critics in LA, were blown away and vowed to return. They did complain about the lighting but all in all we left happy and satisfied and determined to return.

8474 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California


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