I consider it a victory then, whenever we are able to squeeze some last drops of personal time and joie de vivre from our last day off for the week. So it is that we are drawn to Sunday Suppers - with its promise of market fresh fine dining at a relatively moderate price - a restorative, rustic meal to nourish body and soul, and bolster us through the next five days.
"Miss Sassy" and I have been wanting to check out Suzanne Goin's infamous seasonal, Cal-Mediterreanena Sunday Suppers at Lucques, where it all began, and with my family all overseas, Miss Sassy kindly agreed to venture out with me on Easter Sunday.
The three-course, $45 meal started with a lovely little amuse tray of briny olives and toasted almonds, fluffy bread with butter and coarse sea salt providing the perfect prologue to the meal.
So, though I normally prefer my fish either raw or steamed Cantonese style, I went for the Pan-roasted market fish with quinoa, carrot broth, sugar snaps and gingered pea shoots. It took just one bite to make me a believer. That night's market fish was snapper - the crisp, flavorful roasted skin yielded to tender, juicy, incredibly fresh flaky meat, contrasting nicely with the subtly sweet crunch of the sugar snap peas and gentle spiciness of the pea shoots (the ginger adding an interesting tinge of Asian flavor). All come together beautifully and harmoniously on a bed of purple colored quinoa, steeped in the lightest carrot broth. Simple yet sophisiticated. Clean. Divine. Possibly the best fish I've had this year.
All in all, an amazing Easter Sunday Supper that made not only our night, but made up for the past week, and got us recharged and ready for the coming one. Definitely $45 well spent! I love that when you come to Lucques, you can feel like the team put the same care that they did into the $35k a seat dinner that Suzanne hosted at one of her three other restaurants, Tavern in Brentwood, for President Obama (ok, probably not even close, but what's important is that you are made to feel at home, and that they make you feel that every plate they put out is the most important plate).
In any case, Easter Sunday was probably my best Sunday ever in LA - having just come from an interview with Matt Biancaniello where he premiered 3 of the most amazing market fresh cocktails I've ever had - I didn't have the bandwidth left to try any of Lucques' drinks that night, which are also farmers' market inspired. Will definitely be visiting Lucques again soon for more of their incredible Sunday Suppers and cocktails!
On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 6.5 bites
Presentation - 6 bites
Originality - 6 bites
Ambience - 6 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $$$$ (4 bite marks regular menu)
Probability of return visit - 100%
[To find more prix fixe deals like this, check out my Daily Specials (dining deals for every night of week) page, and follow me on Twitter for up to the minute finds!]
8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Look for reservations: Opentable.com/Lucques