Lukshon is permanently closed
photo credit: Philip Guerette
Expectations are a bitch. Case in point: December 1999, when it was totally possible the world was going to end. The entire planet was collectively freaking out about Y2K and the havoc the Millennium Bug was going to cause. Then, nothing. Midnight came and went, the computers didn’t make us their slaves, and we went on to wear Juicy tracksuits, call people on our Nokia 3310s, and carry chihuahuas in bags for the next few years. Total letdown.
Just like our fantasies about the 2000s, we had pretty high expectations for Lukshon - but it never quite reached the heights we hoped it would. However, if you can let go of those pesky expectations (or if you never had any in the first place), Lukshon is actually pretty great.
Lukshon is the second restaurant from the chef behind Father’s Office. Yep, the guy who makes the best burger in all of Los Angeles also has a fine dining restaurant that serves Asian fusion food. The no-changes-to-the-menu rule is about the only similarity between the two spots, so keep those requests for gluten-free soy sauce to yourself.
As a date spot, Lukshon hits it out of the park. The inside is extremely darkly lit, filled with booths, and the small plates are designed to be shared. Add in a few rounds of hot and sour gimlets, and the night is officially won. Groups do well here too, especially out on the patio - the more people, the more things you can order to share.
The food spans all across Asia - there’s everything from a Burmese tea leaf salad to Thai larb to Chinese Sichuan dumplings. Some of the dishes are traditional, and others have more of a twist. The Hawaiian butterfish is refreshing and seriously good, and the lobster banh mi is a great spin on a classic. Other dishes can lean heavy, so it helps to throw some lighter things in the mix too, otherwise it’s easy to leave feeling like you need to be rolled home.
So while we were expecting greatness from Lukshon, most of what we’ve eaten here has been really tasty - and we can settle for very good-ness. Coming here for a corporate lunch or a date won’t disappoint, and the whole place is pretty unique for Culver City. We’re ok with what Lukshon actually is, not what we wanted it to be. Just like we’re definitely ok with not having computers as our overlords.
Tea Leaf Salad
Nope, not a salad made out of tea, this is a spin on a traditional Burmese dish, with shredded cabbage, crispy split chickpeas, and a dressing made with fermented tea leaves. At dinner it comes with prawns on top and you should order it.
Far and away our favorite dish here. It’s sort of like a ceviche, with the same citrus flavors, but with bigger piece of raw fish. Definitely order this to balance out the rest of the rich food. And because it’s amazing.
Lobster Banh Mi
A cross between a lobster roll and a banh mi, so obviously you’re going to like it. It’s also way lighter than you’d expect it to be given that there’s a buttered roll, mayo-covered lobster, and pig’s head terrine involved.
Spicy Chicken Pops
Basically a fancy version of the honey-soy sauce chicken we ate as kids. Not super spicy, and a little bit too sweet. These aren’t our favorite.
Solid dumplings with a tasty chilli jam thing. Not going to blow your mind, but a good plate to have on the table.
A good dish that’s overshadowed too much of the sauce that comes with it. We’re into the fennel raita and crispy bits of eggplant ‘fries’ on top, but the tomato sambal overwhelmed the whole thing by the end.
Chiang Mai Curry Noodles
Like a fancy laksa (noodle soup) with a nice amount of spicy. Not ideal for the whole table though - just get one for yourself, sharing is overrated.