Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Year Dinner

Luc Lac Kitchen Mural

We decided our first meal together in the New Year should be Vietnamese food. So we headed downtown for a nice celebratory dinner with friends at Luc Lac Kitchen.

Luc Lac Restaurant

New kid on the block Luc Lac Kitchen actually got its start as a late night Pho restaurant downtown. They expanded the space, updated the decor and added a sleek bar. After taking a quick look at the menu, we realized Anne had worked with the chef at another Vietnamese restaurant Green Papaya before the change of ownership and then eventual closure. So we knew exactly which items we would be trying.

After a confusing minute trying to figure out the system for ordering/seating, we placed a massive order of food at the counter, got our table number and grabbed a table in the back by the kitchen. First to arrive was our cocktails.

Dac Biet Cocktail

Unfortunately due the confusing counter ordering system we doubled ordered a couple of appetizers, which arrived at our table at no particular order including after our entrees. But that was ok by us because everything was terrific.

Papaya Salad and Other Appetizers

We initially ordered what we thought was way too many appetizers, but we ended eating it all. Including the papaya salad, grilled chicken skewers (2x), salad rolls (2x), coconut prawns and mussels in tamarind broth. It was all delicious.

Mussels in Tamarind Broth

For our entrees we ordered a Banh Mi Nem Nuong or Vietnamese Sausage baguette sandwich with a zesty side salad. Everything about this sandwich was likeable - savory, comforting, crunchy, tart and spicy. An around great sandwich.

Nem Nuong Banh Mi

We also ordered the house signature dish, the Bo Luc Lac (beef tenderloin seared with Hennessey, butter, garlic and lots of black pepper), it wasn't as tender as Green Papaya's version with filet mignon instead of tenderloin, but the flavor was spot on. Served with a lightly vinegar salad, tomato rice and peppery lime dipping sauce.

Luc Lac Bo

We thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere of Luc Lac Kitchen. It was definitely a great meal to start the new year with.

Hanging Umbrellas

Luc Lac Kitchen 835 SW 2nd Portland, Oregon 503/222-0047

No comments: