The first in Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin's necklace of restaurants, Lucques is as vibrant as the day it opened. From the roasted vegetables (they truly are roasted here) to the bright yet subtle sauces to punchy dishes like short ribs with sautéed greens, cippollini, and horseradish cream, the place is defined by its poise and ease. A meal here is as comfortable as a Sunday supper with friends and as focused as a dot of almond pesto in a white bean soup.
Best Short Ribs, November 2007
Riddled with fat, girded with cartilage, and often misshapen, short ribs don't look like much. But with patient cooking the nasty bits melt away, bequeathing the meat richness and rendering it impossibly tender, as in the unfussy sous vide
version at the Foundry on Melrose or the cinnamon-tinged tajine
at Josie. But the short ribs at Lucques
are the ones that make us forget ourselves as we pick up the plate to lick it clean. Braised four hours (or more) in red wine, port, and veal stock, they're served over Swiss chard and creamy mashed potatoes and topped with horseradish crème fraîche. Short ribs have been popular on L.A. menus for years, but these, as transporting as a Stephane Grappelli riff, are mind-alteringly good.