Ever since Lukshon opened in early 2011, there has been one constant: no dessert menu. Inspired by the idea that at many Asian restaurants dessert is complimentary, dessert was provided free of charge at the end of a meal. There was one dessert a day, and it changed daily.
Lukshon still provides free dessert, but just in the last few days they've also launched their first ever dessert menu. For the times when you want more than one dessert, for the special occasions when a small free dessert alone doesn't seem to fit the spirit of the meal, there will now be a selection of desserts available for purchase.
The change took place after opening pastry chef John Park left to open an ice cream and pastry shop in Burbank. Yoon, along with Jessica Perez, came up with three new desserts to start the dessert menu program up. Perez is now responsible for pastry at Lukshon.
Unsurprisingly, like much at Lukshon, the new dessert menu features precise, complex, almost cerebral dishes that also have an element of fun. There's a strong strain of perfectionism -- in fact, on the day I tried them, one of the three desserts was not available because the kitchen "wasn't happy with the quality of the stone fruit" needed for the dish.
But the other two made up for it. Barley pudding topped with the nutty puffed barley, caramelized banana, mandarin and banana ice cream was a study in textural contrast -- the smooth creaminess of the pudding, the dense fruit-fudge of the caramelized banana, the airy crunch of the puffed barley.
Chicory chocolate cake came in crumbled hunks, dark and moist and barely sweet, with sesame brittle, Thai chili chocolate pudding, and sesame ice cream.
It's hard not to see the influence of Yoon's new business partner, Sherry Yard, in these desserts. Yard, the legendary ex-Spago pastry chef, and Yoon are opening a bakery together across the way from Lukshon in the Helms complex, and Lukshon's new desserts have at least a whisper of Yard's brand of creativity and high standards.
Desserts on the new menu cost $7.
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