For quite a while now my husband and I have been searching for the perfect place to eat. We go out twice a week to the same places in Downtown Los Angeles, and we really wanted to switch it up. (As you can imagine, going to the same crowded hipster hangouts can get pretty boring!)
The Top Restaurant in Los Angeles May Be in Culver City
Lukshon was suggested to us by a friend who is obsessed with the place.
He says that he’s never tasted better Asian cuisine in his life. We were told that the restaurant was able to give over the Asian culture and food that everyone knows and loves, with a refreshing modern South-East Asia twist. We finally decided it was time to go check this place out.
Lukshon (in a nutshell) is the creation of one of L.A.’s most renowned chefs, Sang Yoon. The restaurant has its own take on South-East Asian Cuisine and its wonderfully diverse ingredients.
Being that Lukshon is a pretty fancy place to eat, I figured that the only way for me to get a table would be to make a reservation. I went to their website and was able to reserve a table for my husband and me. In general if you have a group of 7 or more people, the only way to make a reservation is by phone (Luckily it was just me and my husband!) I later found out that walk-ins are totally acceptable. They have “communal tables” in the middle of the restaurant for those without reservations, which is way easier than trying to get some Trois Mec tickets.
Lukshon, is Looking Good
Something that I liked a lot, and found convenient, was the parking lot right next to the restaurant. Whenever I go out to eat, I spend a large amount of time just looking for parking. Having a restaurant dedicated parking lot was a huge time saver.
Sang Yoon’s Journey
In life, before I do anything or go anywhere I always do my research. To some people it might sound a bit neurotic, but let’s be honest here… how many times have you heard great things about a place, and after taking that advice, felt disappointed? I didn’t want to go to a fancy place and spend a bunch of money on a mediocre experience.
So, first things first, I had to find out about the chef.
Sang Yoon started his career in fine dining, he worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. By 2000, Yoon was ready to make his own restaurant. He, too much acclaim, renovated his favorite local dive bar, Father’s Office, which was a phenomenal success and is now considered one of the best Culver City bars. Finally in 2011 the culinary genius founded Lukshon which instantly contributed to the Culver City restaurant scene.
Yoon, who’s been known to dabble in many culinary fields, was reported as a craft beer expert in USA Today, Food & Wine magazine, and on National Public Radio. As his career took off, he was featured as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and competing chef on Top Chef Masters.
Beautiful Inside and Out
My husband and I are staunch believers that the environment of a restaurant adds a lot to the evening. Whilst fine dining, it’s important to get certain vibes that can make you feel as if you are not just picking up a quick bite to eat. Don’t get me wrong, the food is obviously the main aspect, but the ambiance and atmosphere plays a pretty big role as well. For example, it’s pretty unlikely that you would take your first date to a small, cramped, underground fast food place. Why? Because the bottom line is that your environment can very easily make up the mood.
To put it bluntly… Lukshon was stunning inside and out.
As soon as I walked up to the restaurant I had a great feeling. We were greeted by the spacious and beautiful outside patio. We loved that the outside was lit up by a small fire illuminating the dark night. The culture influenced architecture was impressive (even for LA!)
The dimmed lights inside the restaurant contributed to the romantic atmosphere, making it the perfect place for my husband and I to have our semi-annual date night. Seeing as we were eating at a chinese food Culver City restaurant, we were surprised to see the modern decor inside. Everything looked shiny and white which wasn’t the typical look you might find at a restaurant that serves Asian cuisine.
Lukshon’s interior appeared to be a pretty big place, which allowed us, as the customers, the chance to pick which area we wanted to sit in. Because we had made a reservation, the host showed us to the area which was kept for us. He asked if we wanted to sit there or change our table. I thought that was pretty admirable being that the place kept for us was in a crowded section of the restaurant.
We wanted to sit outside next to the fire, but the weather that night was a little too humid for my tastes. Taking everything into consideration, we chose to sit inside. My second seating choice was by the couches in the corner. We planned on staying there for a while, so it made sense to pick the most comfortable seating Lukshon had to offer.
Something that my husband and I were both impressed by was lukshon’s bar. It had a beautiful display and a large variety of things to order. I couldn’t wait to find out if the drinks were as amazing as they looked and sounded!
For people who want more of a casual dining experience, the bar would probably be the best place to sit. Classy but simple. What I noticed was, that from the bar you can actually see everything being made in the open kitchen. It added a lot to Lukshon’s overall atmosphere.
I have to admit that I’m usually pretty overwhelmed by menus. Most of the time it’s unclear what the dishes are. I end up having to ask the waiters a thousand questions until I finally get what I want. Like I said, I did my research. I looked up the most popular dishes and worked from there. Because I was familiar with the Lukshon menu, it made ordering a million times faster.
To get a better feel , below you’ll find Lukshon’s most popular dishes. TRUST ME. This helps!
- ‘Not’ chinese chicken salad – lacinato kale, black garlic vinaigrette, puffed black rice, sesame and yes, chicken
- Tea leaf salad – cabbage, crispy chana dal, marcona, almonds, peanuts, sesame, blue prawn
- Beef and Broccoli – Prime hanger steak, grilled gai lan, black bean ghee, puffed tendon
- Chiang mai curry noodles – chile, turmeric, lemongrass, chicken, yu choy,rice noodles
- Dandan noodles – kurobuta pork, sesame, preserved mustard greens, Sichuan peppercorns, peanuts
- Heirloom black rice – lap cheong, onion, roasted garlic, lilly’s farm fried
- Green rice -bamboo rice, long beans, snow peas, gai lan, bok choy, shishito, edamame, jalapeño
- Warm banana toffee cake banana custard – 5-spice toffee sauce chocolate graham cracker soil black tea ice cream
- Beijing yogurt panna cotta sheep’s milk – vanilla mandarin granita sorghum granola, burnt mandarin
- Coconut dark chocolate “rocks” passion fruit – chocolate black pepper crumble toasted coconut sand
The Main Attraction
It was suggested to me to try the beef and broccoli dish. It sounded like something that I would like. So…. why not? I was pretty impressed by the arrangement and presentation of the food. That was just the beginning of it!
It was delicious. The beef was really tender which I love. It was cooked medium rare, and was served over a bed of Chinese broccoli. The top was covered in a delicious sweet sauce. Some people might have considered the dish to be over seasoned, but I felt it was perfect. This is definitely not your typical beef and broccoli dish, but I have to say that it’s the best I’ve ever had!
My husband got the dandan noodles. I tried a little for myself. It was a little too spicy for my taste buds but perfect for my husband! The noodles provided a nice balance of texture with the peanuts as well as a savory sauce consisting of pork and sichuan peppercorns. It was one of the heavier noodle dishes that was served with their own special sauce. I would recommend the dandan noodles to anyone who likes spicy foods.
As a side dish (or so we thought) I got the black rice for my husband and I to share. (If I knew that my dish came with rice I probably wouldn’t have gotten it). The rice was really unique and full of flavor. It came with a fried egg on top which was the best part. I’ve never had black rice before but it looked really unique and tasted even better. I would say that the dish itself had a little too much garlic flavor but the egg was there to mellow it out.
For dessert we got a coconut sorbet coated in dark chocolate with a passion fruit jelly. It was to die for. Although it wasn’t such a large portion, it was exactly what we needed after a heavy meal.
I was really impressed with the staff at Lukshon. They were extremely generous and helpful. Each person who worked there seemed genuine and hard working. The waitress who was assigned to my table was really attentive and constantly doing her best to make sure we were satisfied with everything. It’s hard to find hard workers these days so I was impressed by her dedication.
My husband and I noticed a couple sitting next to us. Not really sure how to describe them without sounding judgmental… to put it nicely, they weren’t the most easy going people in the restaurant. The nice waitress brought over their food and they complained about nothing. They started screaming at the poor girl and she just stood there with the utmost patience and respect. That scene, on its own, showed a lot about the people who work there. I realized I could learn a great deal from the waitress because she had about way more patience than I could ever have. We made sure to leave the nice girl a huge tip!
Everyone working “behind the scenes” in the kitchen proved to be really talented. Even the bartender appeared as an artist in our eyes. They made sure to put a ton of hard work and effort into each thing they did and it definitely showed.
Something that we really enjoyed was the bar. It had a modern and classy feel to it. Unlike most bars that I’ve been to, the bar stools had a lot of cushion and were super comfortable to sit on. I loved my wine and my husband loved his mixed cocktails. They had a large variety of beverages to order. You name it, they have it. The bar had a beautiful wine display that was illuminated by a gorgeous led light. It really added to the trendy atmosphere.
My overall experience at Lukshon
My husband and I were really pleased with this restaurant. It’s safe to say that it completely exceeded our already high expectations. We enjoyed everything from the décor inside, to the food and drinks. The place was beautiful inside and out which definitely enhanced our overall experience there. Not only did we have great food, but we experienced a bit of different Asian cultures as well. Prices were great, the menu was diverse and unique, the staff was warm and welcoming, and the food was phenomenal.
I strongly recommend Lukshon to anyone who is looking for the best restaurants in Los Angeles. I would describe the place as tasty and enchanting.
I complement chef Yoon for creating a wonderful Asian food empire! Can’t wait to see what he has for us next!
Check out our Wokcano Menu review for another great Asian restaurant in Downtown LA!