Culinary Musings: Luna Park
Luna Park Kitchen and Cocktails
672 South La Brea (at Wilshire Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
On our menu:
- Marinated Hawaiian Tuna “Poke” with Fried Wonton Chips
- Breaded Pork Cutlet Stuffed with Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese with Mashed Potatoes, String Beans and Apple-Cranberry Sauce
- Oven Baked Macaroni & Cheese and Broccoli with Neuske Smoked Ham
Thank you to all of you readers out there for your support of my food column. I enjoy cheese and cupcakes, and I think that will be my focus until I’ve tried every place there is to try. Please share with me if you think you have had awesome mac and cheese, and I too will go and try it for myself.
Per reader Hilary’s comment on Luna Park’s Baked Macaroni & Cheese, I made a plan with my dining accomplice April to try LP this past Wednesday. The vibe of the restaurant is very hip and trendy especially for drinking, the music was loud and the lighting was on the darker side. It was also a bit crowded. Some menu items I enjoyed looking at were the Make Your Own S’Mores with a roasted marshmallow on top of a candle flame with melted chocolate and graham crackers (I love s’mores!) and the Goat Cheese Fondue with bread and apple slices.
We started with the Tuna “Poke” which is basically a tar tare. It was very tasty with a hint of ginger. I enjoyed the Fried Wonton Chips with the raw tuna and it was different from the tar tare from Violet, but still very good. I was starving and the appetizer came out right away which made a hungry Mair a happy Mair.
We shared the Baked Macaroni and Cheese as well as the Pork Cutlet as suggested by Ryan (actually recommended you try le monte cristo with a side of triple bypass — ed). I do not know if it is a good thing to have high expectations of food, but I was expecting LP’s Macaroni to be pretty awesome. When the two main plates came out, both looked great and smelled great.
The Pork Cutlet was very tasty, I usually shy away from pork because it can have a dark flavor, but this cutlet was light and resembled chicken more than pork. I could not taste the gruyere cheese I am used to from Violet’s Baked Macaroni, but the mushroom and cheese stuffed inside made the dish. And mashed potatoes are always a great side to have when you are eating breaded meat, and LP’s mashed potatoes did not disappoint. The cranberry-apple sauce was tart and not at all sweet, it did not add nor take away anything to the meal.
I was let down by their Macaroni. The cheese was too sharp and the ham did not add anything but a salty meat component. I did like the bigger pasta and broccoli, but taste and texture wise, Violet wins. I only had a few pieces before I decided I did not want anymore. I can’t wait for the next challenger to Violet’s supremacy.
Currently I have also been to the 101 Coffee House, Fred 62, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles within the last year. I’ve had more Mac â€˜n Cheese outside of LA though, but since we only focus on LA I am going to stick to that. I’ll review Coral Tree CafÃ©, Dalt’s, Rooms CafÃ©, and whichever others you pose for me to try. When I was in New York I went to a popular brunch spot and ordered New York Magazine’s Best Macaroni and Cheese for 2005 and I was disappointed. I am up for the challenge, for the love of Macaroni and Cheese, yes indeed I am!
Total Bill: $46 + $10 tip for two plates, an appetizer and a hot tea. Service was quick. There is valet parking, but after 7:00PM you can park at the meters for free. Not much else to do around the restaurant after you finish a meal. It is located about a half block north of Wilshire Blvd., on La Brea Ave.