Lukshon: Touring Asia, Minus Constraints, at Helms Bakery [CLOSED]

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Asian Food Culver City


Spicy Chicken Pops ($14) was probably my favorite plate of the night. Lukshon’s chefs coat Shelton Farms’ drumettes with garlic, spicy Sichuan salt and kecap manis, a sweet Indonesian soy sauce and another unfamiliar ingredient. The salt added a tongue-stinging accent, the flavor kept building, and I could have easily eaten 100 of them. Porto Carreiro paired pours of Lambrusco, a refreshing red wine that seemed to heighten the spice with its carbonation.

Asian Food Culver City
Lamb Sausage Roti Canai ($15) was another powerhouse dish, crisp flatbread layered with crumbled spice-crusted lamb sausage, earthy chana dal (yellow split peas), cumin, mint leaves and raita. On the side, a dish of pickled cauliflower added some good acidity. That was a nice touch throughout the meal, incorporating pickled vegetables to help achieve balance.

Asian Food Culver City
Our first BIG decision involved Whole Steamed Fish (MP – $31), which during our visit, was New Zealand black sea bream. Other nights, it can be a different bream, or a fish from the Med. The fish was certainly juicy, and bitter, almost-tannic Taiwan spinach soaked up the jus (and black bean ghee) to good effect. Still, the fish was fairly mild, even when spooned with sambal ijo, a pungent green chile sauce.

Asian Food Culver City
Garlic Pork Belly ($23) was excellent, combining chunks of crispy pork belly, al dente rice cake cylinders and cabbage, all blasted with garlic, garlic chives, scallions and do ban jian, a fermented Korean bean paste. This dish had explosive flavor.

Asian Food Culver City
Among the NOODLES, our choice was fairly easy. The waitstaff takes time to explain how Dandan Noodles ($13) have a numbing effect due to the inclusion of Sichuan peppercorns. However, the chunky slurry of ground Kurobuta pork, sesame, preserved mustard greens, Sichuan peppercorns and crushed peanuts was surprisingly muted, with hardly any pop, and no numbing. The noodles were also overcooked, contributing to the night’s major disappointment.

Asian Food Culver City
We did find some redemption with the Heirloom Black RICE ($11), which was just the right texture and supercharged with dime-sized cuts of lap cheong (sweet Chinese sausage), onion and roasted garlic. The topper was a fried egg that blanketed the dish.

Dessert Culver City
Whether you save room for dessert or not doesn’t matter. They bring it anyway, on the house, and it’s different every night. We received madeleine-like pine nut cake with cacao and pear sorbet; and tangy yogurt panna cotta with pomegranate seeds and mandarin sorbet.

During our visit, we didn’t see Yoon in the kitchen, and it’s hard to know if the meal would have been better if he was heading the line. Probably, but we still enjoyed most of the dishes that his lieutenants shepherded. We were all encouraged by the experience, and some of my friends have already returned multiple times. Red Medicine and The Spice Table have also garnered attention (and scrutiny) for their modern Asian dishes, and so far, Lukshon is my favorite of the trio.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

still haven’t been, but so excited to try this place! plus pastry chef john park is pretty solid 🙂

I like the look of the chicken pops…the sad thing about Yoon and possible free desserts is that if you have a food allergy, you’re generally out of luck. So if he gives me a freebie with nuts I am allergic to a) I can’t eat it, so it’s wasted and b) I can’t actualyl within reason ask for something else.

I wish I could eat at all the new places, but I have neither the free money nor calories…

Culver City is a place I never think of going but they seem to get a new interesting restaurant every month.

I have been dying to try Lukshon. This review has made my desire to dine there even stronger. I will be ordering the Heirloom Black Rice, Garlic Pork Belly, and Spicy Chicken Pops.

The official Singapore Sling is pink so wonder if Krystal got the real drink? BTW I am from Singapore.

I have now added Spicy Chicken Pops and Lamb Sausage Roti Canai to my order list when I get around to visiting. Seems like small plates are the way to go.

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