Los Angeles has seen a recent trend of Asian fusion cuisine in the past couple of years with Chego and Tasty Kitchen. Sang Yoon, of Father’s Office, presents us with Lukshon in Culver City.
To get my lubed up, I started with a hot & sour gimlet, which is with monopolva vodka, dragon chile, lime, thai basil, and kinh gioi. When I saw “hot & sour” in the name, I was immediately drawn to it. I have been a fan of unique drinks with “hot” or spicy components. Since my experience with the Thai Zeed at Lost Heaven, I have been looking for similar drinks wherever I am. There certainly was the heat I was looking for, along with the refreshing sour aspect. The next drink I had was the fujian cure – isle of skye 8 year scotch, lemon, galangal, lapsong souchong black tea. An interesting mix, that I found a little more than ordinary, but wasn’t as intriguing as the hot & sour gimlet.
The appetizers that we started off with were very good. I would load up on appetizers and little dishes all night. I don’t mind sampling different tastes in small portions. A bite here and there would be fine. We had the spicy chicken pops, deer island scallops, spanish mackerel, and the foie gras ganache. Each of these . . .well. . .lets just say “We Win!” I liked the spanish mackerel and the spicy chicken pops most of all.
There is a lot of like a Lukshon with the interior, the fire pit, and the outdoor patio. On the menu one of the things that I saw that clicked – was the garlic pork belly – with do ban jian, rice cakes, cabbage, and garlic chives for $21. I wanted to like it. I really did. I really enjoyed the pork belly itself. But even with the perfect fat to meat ratio, the accompanied rice cake killed the dish. Rice cake is suppose to be soft and mushy. Yet the way it was presented, it was tough and barely chewy. Perhaps this was prepared on purpose. Maybe westerners aren’t accustomed to the traditional Asian rice cake. I didn’t approve. . .
Thank goodness the other entrees are much better. We also had the heirloom black rice, dandan noodles, and skirt steak with a side of yu choy sum. The heirloom black rice – in my opinion an exotic dish with black rice, was favored by most of my friends. I am not too keen with black rice. I don’t necessarily like the texture, as this dish was. The exact opposite happened with the dandan noodles. This soup noodles had the sichuan peppercorn, or known as huājiāo, infused in the soup broth. This numb feeling and taste, if not used to, therefore made most of my friends a little unsettling. But I, enjoyed it. I like the spiciness and numbness. I thought it was the best and most unique dish. Perhaps it is my living experience in Asia that taught me to accept new tastes. I am still learning how to accept different textures, though.
What to Order: Heirloom Black Rice, Dandan Noodles
What not to Order: Pork Belly
Price Range 3 $/¥/NT
3239 Helms Ave
Culver City, CA 90232