Sang Yoon's Lukshon to open this fall in Culver City
Details of Sang Yoon's long-awaited Culver City restaurant Lukshon are starting to surface. Chef-owner Yoon says he and his partner, James Bygrave, expect to open Lukshon "in a few months," featuring a creative, modern menu based on Southeast Asian flavors.
It sounds ambitious: contemporary dishes that showcase Southeast Asian cuisine and its multicultural culinary influences stamped by French, Dutch and Portuguese colonization. (Yoon isn't forthcoming with details about specific dishes yet.) Despite the name's play on the Yiddish word for noodle (luchen or lucksh), it's not a noodle shop. From the man who imported water from Scotland to mix with his Scotch whiskey at Father's Office and has an experimental test kitchen, expect obsessive inspiration from niche Asian ingredients. He will be making his own sambals and sriracha.
The craft beer and wine list will focus on Belgian-style ales and Central European whites that pair well with Asian flavors. The cocktail list will feature spirits such as Chinese maotai or baijiu (the stuff distilled from sorghum, once famously called "liquid razor blades") and other "custom-distilled selections" from his test kitchen.
The restaurant is a transformed turn-of-the-century, 2,500-square-foot warehouse, designed by Ana Henton of Mass Architecture & Design. There's an open kitchen with a six-seat chef's counter, gray and black leather booths in the dining room, a 16-seat communal table, and stainless metal, walnut and teak detailing. And there's a 34-seat outdoor patio with a fire pit.
The name is also a nod to Yoon's surrogate Jewish grandmother, says his publicist. Surrogate Jewish grandmother? "She's a lady my family met when I was in kindergarten," Yoon says. "She had granddaughters in my class. She found out that I had lost all my grandparents by age 4 and then declared herself my grandmother on the spot. She was the first person to teach me to cook anything. I can make gefilte fish from scratch." But it probably won't be on the menu. Or will it?
3239 Helms Ave., Culver City, www.lukshon.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo of Sang Yoon by Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times