• June 9th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    as we blogged earlier, pure luck’s official last day in business was supposed to be last saturday. however, due to some escrow dramz the restaurant has decided to remain open for limited hours this week.

    here’s the official word i just got, straight from the owner:

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  • February 4th, 2009mr meanerLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    Do you remember the scene in Wizard of Oz where the wizard is exposed behind the curtain, and he turns out to be just some boring middle-aged man of ill repute? Well, that’s what we existentialists call a “revelation”, and BOY did I get one of those last weekend in Pure Luck. I didn’t just see behind the red curtain by the cash register, I got a glimpse behind the IRON CURTAIN into cold-war era Soviet Russia. Okay, I know you just want to hear about potato pals and how awesome the freakin’ jackfruit is, but bear with me on this.

    The RED Era of Pure Luck!

    The RED Era of Pure Luck!

    Any vegan living in LA will confirm that Pure Luck is probably the best vegan restaurant in town, has some of the nicest staff and offers an innovative Mexi/Californian-style menu that can satisfy even the most hard boiled carnivore. The same vegans will also tell you that the quality of the food is about as predictable as the middle-east peace process, and you never quite know what you’re going to get when you order something off the menu.

    I usually stick to the staple Fresh Noodle Salad, but even that simple dish (with, like four ingredients) has arrived in multiple different forms in the year or so I’ve been going there. Sometimes it’s all noodles with spinach sprinkled on top, other times it’s a 5lb bag of spinach with nary a noodle in site. Sometimes there is so much tofu I can’t handle the protein overload and other times there’s not enough tofu to feed a vegan mouse. The other dishes suffer the same fate of inconsistency, yet we vegans are so grateful to have Pure Luck around we just complain to each other yet rarely to the staff.

    Well, this weekend, I was served with an inedible Fresh Noodle Salad. Not only were the noodles hard and crunchy, but the spinach was brown at the edges and the whole thing was swimming in a sea of salty water. There were five pieces of overcooked tofu, no tortilla crunchies and the toasted peanuts had seen neither hide nor hare of a toaster, let alone any form of heat.

    Pure Luck Fresh Noodle Salad on a bad day.

    Pure Luck Fresh Noodle Salad on a bad day.

    Sadly, I had to send it back and decided to order the Pure Luck Spring rolls instead. I SWEAR they scooped out the crap in my salad bowl, wrapped it in a tortilla with a smirk on their faces, dumped the salty water on top and re-served it to me, as the rolls were no better. See below for a comparison between a good and bad day. Please note that on the bad day, the spring rolls were soggy, with the dip TIPPED INTO into them and flowing out, and barely any tofu. On the good day, however, there was tons of tofu and the spring rolls were fresh, the leaves weren’t wilted, and the sauce was served on the side. Night and day, I tell you.

    Pure Luck spring rolls, for better and for worse.

    Pure Luck spring rolls, for better and for worse.

    Coincidentally, a friend, who visited later the same afternoon, ordered the Burrito, which happened to be “95% rice” and fell apart when she tried to eat it. She’s decided to start visiting Pure Luck less often, as she’s “fed up getting crappy food, when it used to be so good.”. And, she’s the SECOND person I know who won’t order the Burrito again for the exact same reason, both served months apart.

    When I questioned our wonderfully efficient and polite server about the consistency of the food I got the most stunning revelation: “Well, because we share all the tips, the owner likes us to do different jobs here. One day I might be waiting tables, the next washing dishes and then I might be in the kitchen preparing food. I guess some of us are better than others at different things”. No shit, Sherlock.

    I mean, Pure Luck, SERIOUSLY. You have a business with paying customers, not some ideological experiment with socialist capitalism. I’ve never run a restaurant, but I know that not everybody can cook food, just as not everybody is good at dealing with people. Pure Luck needs to get a sensible rotation of kitchen staff to consistently prepare quality food as well as serve your customers with accountability.

    I know about 10 vegans who don’t go to Pure Luck as often as they would, for fear of being disappointed with a dish that’s not up to the standards they are used to. Indeed, just this last Saturday, Twitter was going crazy with people who were going to Pure Luck and complaining about the food.

    Pure Luck: you can do better. Your restaurant is quieter than it used to be, and the only consistency we’ve seen is higher prices and smaller portions. We loyal customers will vote with our feet and go elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, you are still the best vegan restaurant in town by far, but gone are my regular weekend dinner gatherings at Pure Luck with friends, shrunk now to once or twice a month…and we all remark on the inconsistency of the food. Comping a food item (has happened several times in my circle of friends) means we both lose. Your revenue goes down, and the customer doesn’t get what they ordered.

    Pure Luck should deliver reasonable consistency with its food, that’s all we are asking. Our salads/tacos/burritos/whatever should be very similar every time we order them, and we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and send stuff back to the kitchen that’s below par, even if we have waited 40 minutes for it to arrive.

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  • May 7th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    maybe it’s out there somewhere, but i’ve not been able to find the menu for the wildly popular vegan restaurant pure luck anywhere online! 

    so, as a service to the public, i’ve taken it upon myself to scan the menu and make it available to you all from your very own home. if you haven’t been to pure luck yet, i can’t recommend it highly enough.

    PURE LUCK MENU (inside)

    PURE LUCK MENU (front and back)

    now you can order pure luck food in advance for take-out, or if you are like me, sit and stare at the menu for hours, plotting what you will have on your next visit and wishing you were sitting in the restaurant RIGHT NOW.


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  • April 20th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    are you sick of reading about pure luck already? too bad! because until i’ve tried everything on the menu…i’m gonna keep writing about it and providing you with pictures.

    carnitas taco combo plate: soft corn tortillas filled with jackfruit “carnitas”, topped with diced onions and cilantro, and our fresh tomatillo salsa. $8

    fresh noodle salad: cold rice noodles on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with tofu and peanuts, bean sprouts, basil, onions and a sweet cilantro-lime dressing. $8

    well, i went back to pure luck this weekend, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint! the service was great and i finally got to try the much-talked-about “carnitas” made from jackfruit. sounds weird, i know, but it was wonderful. it will be very hard moving forward in my quest to try everything on the menu, not to back out and just continue ordering the carnitas tacos.
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  • April 14th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, pure luck (closed)

    tofu pesto sandwich:
    grilled tofu and fresh basil-spinach pesto on a rustic roll, with romaine and onions and vegan mayo.

    pure luck is hands-down my favorite restaurant in los angeles. it’s great. they have a delicious 100% vegan menu and an impressive selection of quality tap-beer, none of which is over-priced. they truly are one-of-a-kind.


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