• October 29th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    not long ago, i was blogging away and bitching about things that had been taken off the menu at my all-time favorite restaurant, pure luck (namely the curry fries). a couple days later, a dude who i assume was the owner, ben, was kind enough to leave a comment on my post detailing why certain items had been deleted from the menu, and describing some of the tasty new additions that they had made way for.

    of course, i took it upon myself to get over to pure luck several times over the past few weeks and try all of the new dishes they had to offer so i could report back to you all. the additions ranged from awesome, to meh, to sucky…and i’m bringing you pix and descriptions for each one. overall, i think it’s great that pure luck expanded their menu, and i highly urge you to head over and get some of the new shit.

    first, check out ben’s original comments to set it all up.

    on why he abolished things like my beloved curry fries:

    The short answer is that the kitchen at Pure Luck is probably smaller than your bathroom. Really tiny. We had a bunch of new stuff we wanted to put on the menu, so we had to remove a few things.

    on the new menu deets, stuff that’s gone, and stuff that’s gone that they can still make:

    New stuff:
    1. Fire Grilled Beet Salad. My new favorite.
    2. Quinoa Paloma. I won’t bother trying to describe this one, because when I do, it sounds like diet food. It is super healthy, but more importantly, it’s tasty. Ask for a sample.
    3. Vegan Fish tacos and burritos.

    1. All pasta and gnocchi dishes.*
    2. Curry fries.

    Note that we still have gnocchi on the menu in the form of “Potato Pals” (fried gnocchi) and we still have fresh pesto for the Tofu Pesto Sandwich, so we can still do the pesto gnocchi from the old menu.

    thanks, ben. all very good to know. we here at quarrygirl sincerely appreciate your comments, and i’m sure i speak for the readers as well.

    obviously ben had some good reasons for changing up pure luck’s offerings and left some mouth-watering descriptions of what the new menu has to offer. i was immediately compelled to chow down every new dish and bring it back home to you guys. here’s what i found:

    baja taco combo: 2 of our delicious veggie "fish" tacos with your choice of side. $10

    baja taco combo: 2 of our delicious veggie "fish" tacos with your choice of side. $10

    first up, whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA, the baja taco combo is off the bloody hook. whatever pure luck has done to re-invent fish is the same thing they did to re-invent carnitas. jackfruit has got nothin’ on this battered-tofu-fish substitute. wowie. unfortunately, i imagine it’s a harder sell “fish” than “carnitas” or “pulled pork”, though. for some reason, vegans and omnivores alike seem repelled at the idea of fake fish, myself included! to this day, i’ve never had a soy shrimp because the thought of it scares the fuck out of me. i was even reticent to order these succulent tacos, but i did it for you guys so i could write about it. lemme tell ya, it was best gustatory decision i ever made. i wonder what else i have been missing out on by being afraid of faux-fish and other meat impersonators. these tacos were INSANE. some maddening tofuey concoction was lightly breaded and fried into the perfect crunchy but juicy protein source, oozing with flavor and complete scrumptiousness. nothing was “too fishy tasting” and nothing was gross about it. plus, there was this crazy-good creamy white sauce, i guess it was a tartar-inspired condiment (though i don’t remember what the “real thing” tastes like). all i know is this goes great with crunchy tofu, hot sauce, and fresh vegetables. vegan perfection! i think this is the most genius dish pure luck has ever come up with…BETTER THAN CARNITAS…and man i love me some jackfruit. i even gave a bite to my husband who abhors any fake fish, almost as much as the real thing, and he was offering to finish my tacos for me two minutes later.

    the rating for the baja tacos is AWESOME RADICAL beyond belief. order them, and under all plausible vegan circumstances, you will not be sorry.

    ben, dude, you should have talked this dish up more in your comment, or provided a description. it is legendary! i still know people who are too freaked out to order fake fish, and if any of you are reading this, shut the fuck up and try these tacos!!!!!!!!!!!!

    second on deck, a much-needed new addition to the salad family at pure luck, the quinoa paloma. what self-respecting vegan doesn’t bust a nut over quinoa, right? it’s healthy, it’s full of protein, it tastes great and it has less calories than rice or noodles. quinoa rocks. this salad had potential written all over it, and it….um…kind of delivered. it was OK. ben described it as “super healthy, and more importantly, tasty.” i’d describe it as “healthy, and more importantly, more expensive” than the old favorite salads. this salad wasn’t bad…it just wasn’t great. i was really missing some of that protein that pure luck is famous for. some of the incredible grilled tofu from the fresh noodle salad (i still can’t figure out how they do it!) or some of the notorious jackfruit from the spinach salad. the quinoa paloma had none of this. PLUS, it cost 2 bux more than the other salads. hmmm. it was definitely good, just missing that UMPH. oh, and it came with unadvertised almonds (such is the consistency of pure luck), that i only assume added more calories, fat, and un-healthiness to the salad than i expected. see for yourself. again, not a bad salad. just not as good as the other offerings.

    overall rating: meh meh meh meh meh, probably really neato if you like quinoa and cilantro. nice dressing.

    quinoa paloma: quinoa, steamed with a savory mushroom and onion mix, and topped with a tart and refreshing red cabbage dressing. $10

    quinoa paloma: quinoa, steamed with a savory mushroom and onion mix, and topped with a tart and refreshing red cabbage dressing. $10

    next up, the salad i had been anticipating, ben’s new favorite, turned out to be quite a disappointment. the grilled beet salad…well…i’m hoping i got it on a bad day. i feel it just isn’t right to utter a bad word about pure luck, especially since they are the OMG BEST restaurant of all time, but ben’s new favorite was totally icky when it arrived on my table. the fire-grilled beets tasted like beety wood chips. i don’t know if they were cooked or burned, or what. they were thick, hard and chunky. i had to chew through them steadily before they were swallow-able. eventually i gave up and left about half of them in what looked like a blood-soaked bowl. to pure luck’s…er…defense?…the chefs are chronically inconsistent. i mean, i’ve gotten the fresh noodle salad with no noodles, the soup has been cold, the potato pals have arrived with the wrong sauce, etc. i am hoping that on this one occasion, the beet salad tasted like total ass because someone screwed it up upstream. it may be ben’s new favorite, but the one i got was pure uck. go eat it for yourself though…chances are, i coulda easily had it on an off night. with so many other fantastic things on the menu, though…i don’t see the point, myself, in ordering it again.

    i give it a sucky rating from my one experience. hopefully i’m wrong.

    grilled beet salad: fire grilled beets and onions over a bed of fresh spinach, topped with our homemade orange-beet dressing, and toasted almonds. $10

    grilled beet salad: fire grilled beets and onions over a bed of fresh spinach, topped with our homemade orange-beet dressing, and toasted almonds. $10

    lastly, i bring you the burrito of all burritos: the baja! this meal, like the baja tacos is too fucking great to describe. better than all the other pure luck burritos combined, this takes the amazing tofu “fish” and throws it in with a tad of spanish rice, hot salsa, decadent creamy sauce and thick vegetables. most restaurant burritos are just way too massive and intimidating, but this one was the perfect size and full of pure awesome shit. i got it with the side salad, but i’m sure some sweet potato fries would make a great partner as well.

    baja burrito: our veggie "fish" wrapped in a flour tortilla with rice, cabbage and salsa. served with your choice of side. $10

    baja burrito: our veggie "fish" wrapped in a flour tortilla with rice, cabbage and salsa. served with your choice of side. $10

    a little heartier than the tacos, this burrito makes for the perfect meal when you are feeling extra hungry. i love how pure luck double grills the tortillas of their burritos making them easy to hold and a little crispy around the edges. again, all you people who are intimidated by fake fish, put your fears aside and EAT THIS. it is soooooOOOOOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOo good.

    overall rating on the baja burrito is off the fucking hook scrumptious. i am making myself hungry as i type.

    of course, pure luck still has the same impressive draught beer selection. however, they now offer 18oz servings of premium brews for just 5 bucks. their variety of craftsman, stone, and other selections at such a low price is unmatched in los angeles. most self-respecting bars will charge $6-$7 for beers this big and this good.

    in other news, pure luck now has a back patio with some cute and comfy looking furniture. i’ve not sat out there since they re-did it, but the outdoor area is usually bustling and appears to be quite pleasant. as the weather cools down, it becomes a more and more appealing place to sit. well done, pure luck!

    overall, the new menu at pure luck is a very welcome change. i will always miss the curry fries, such is the luck with subjectiveness. maybe they weren’t selling or something. and i support the new menu items, although they are across the board $10, 2 bucks more than comparable older items (don’t think we didn’t fucking notice THAT, pure luck!!!!). the menu changes are overall super cool, and while i don’t really love the new salads, it is nice to see more healthy crap on a menu overflowing with fried appetizers and massive sandwiches. i never thought i’d say this, but the fake fish makes it all worthwhile. a completely new taste, i can’t really describe it or urge you enough to check it out.

    go go go go go 2 pure luck!

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