Lukshon Gets The Gold; Virbila Visits Julienne

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Lukshon's Foie Gras Grenache Photo: Hadley Tomicki

Sang Yoon has really impressed Jonathan Gold this time. In a glowing review of Lukshon, the critic praises Yoon's vision, while calling out WP24, "While old-school chefs are knocking themselves out trying to duplicate complex Asian standards like Beijing duck and chile crab, Yoon is finding the beauty in redefining sticky Chinese pork ribs, Spanish mackerel sashimi, the Singapore Sling and the takeout-dive favorite shrimp toast." The restaurant, to repeat, "is Yoon's most completely realized concept, an edgy, grown-up restaurant serving an Asianized, farm-centered, technique-oriented small-plates menu very much like Animal, Lazy Ox, A-Frame and Red Medicine, but with even more polish." [LAW]

S. Irene Virbila finds herself hanging with the Santa Barbarians for a change in order to check out the locally popular farm-driven restaurant Julienne. While we'd prefer she not encourage more city-folk to flood the charming city, her endorsement stops short when it comes to the restaurants here (she'd rather go to Hungry Cat than Olio e Limone?). Like every other new restaurant hitting L.A., they make their own charcuterie here, but it totally blows Sherry away. The restaurant also has a thing for breaking down whole animals, yielding a prized braised pig tongue, which she adores, along with the pasta, duck confit, beef cheeks, and Jidori thigh with piquillo, even if a few dishes she finds kinda dull. She says it will be her new go-to dinner spot in S.B. before prying a mere two stars out of her deep pockets. [LAT]

Jonathan Gold sets the scene at Sotto, "where the bread comes with pureed lardo instead of olive oil, the ramp-fava bruschetta is sprinkled with crisp cubes of house-made pancetta, and the crispy lozenges that show up as appetizers are not Tater Tots but fried ciccoli, a paste of lard and pigskin." The pizza needs a little more work, but the critic seems delighted to find Southern Italian dishes from Samson and Pollack, who he labels, "abattoir jocks." [LAW]

"Los Angeles definitely needs a late-night brasserie, the equivalent of Balthazar or the Odeon," Jonathan Gold explains, his head dancing with early morning visions at Canter's and DuPar's. But if you're dying for a nightcap and an older crowd, don't overlook Mark Peel's The Tar Pit, which he calls, "a dark, deco-themed restaurant built around the notion of civilized late suppers" where one can depend on "a well-made jalapeño-laced tequila drink or a proper Moscow Mule" at all kinds of indecent hours. [LAW]