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Lukshon: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN

You can be forgiven for surmising that something's up at Lukshon, right? Because you are at a Sang Yoon restaurant, nobody has tried to tackle you on the way to your seat, and you are drinking Singapore Slings or an oddball Canary Islands wine called Listan Negra instead of bitter garagiste ale. Tucked next to Father's Office in the Helms Bakery complex, Lukshon is Yoon's most completely realized concept, an edgy, grown-up restaurant serving an Asian-ized, farm-centered, technique-oriented small-plates menu, very much on the path blazed by places like Animal, Lazy Ox and Red Medicine.

Where old-school chefs are knocking themselves out trying to duplicate complex Asian standards like Beijing duck and chile crab, Yoon has decided to redefine sticky Chinese pork ribs and the takeout favorite shrimp toast, which he turns inside out by dredging delicate cylinders of chopped rock shrimp in tiny croutons, then deep-frying them. When you order beef tartare, the lozenges of chopped meat resemble the Isaan raw-beef salad called koi soi, and the slivered Spanish mackerel with green papaya and coconut vinegar is a riff on a traditional Filipino ceviche. You may know roti canai from the few Malaysian restaurants that serve the floppy fried pancakes, but Sang Yoon's version, crisp, small and layered with lamb sausage, pickled vegetables and a kind of deconstructed chutney, is more like a Malaysian pizza. Authenticity is the least of Yoon's fixations — I suspect he couldn't care less that his thick, coconut-intensive version of the Chiang Mai–style noodle dish khao soi is much closer to a richer Malaysian laksa, or that his garlic pork belly splits the difference between Sichuan twice-cooked pork and Korean tteokbokki. What matters is that they're good. 3239 Helms Ave., Culver City. (310) 202-6808, lukshon.com. Lunch, Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner, Mon.-Sat., 5:30-10:30 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Modern Asian.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

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Lukshon

3239 Helms Ave.
Culver City, CA 90232

310-202-6808

www.lukshon.com


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