So, do you think I got to go to Luka's after finishing my post yesterday? You BETCHA!
The Papa Bear promptly confessed that he had been nursing a burger craving and that earlier that day, he had attempted a trip to In-N-Out (CA-burger-chain, not bad for a fast food joint), only to be discouraged by the long line of cars at lunch time. We hopped in my Prius, and zooooooom, we were off to Oakland! Yup, you read it right, I went to Luka's two nights in a row. I couldn't get enough of that smoky paprika catsup! And that intense chocolate punch of a cake.
Was it just as good the second time around? Oh boy. Was it good!
I couldn't do another night of burgers thicker than its bun, but I devoured two bowls of smoky paprika catsup with an order of fries. And yes, I licked the bowls clean again! Geez, I've got no shame, huh? It's all about the comfort food - like Mike said yesterday. Sam's post on Chowhound made me think more about these fries and I ate my second batch paying closer attention to the texture over the flavor/seasoning. I didn't eat the mildly soft potato-y ones, since as I mentioned yesterday, I love my fries burnt crisp. But even the crispy ones tasted of potato. Because they are thick cut, they offered more 'meat' than the shoestring fries at other places. They were airy inside when super-crispy, adding a layer of texture to the crispiness. I crunched away happily.
I crunched away so happily, yapping away about my next grant proposal prospect or some other inconsequential ramblings, that I didn't notice that there was a lag between my fries and our main dishes. I literally had no idea how much time had passed until our lovely waitress came to apologize and told us that they were comp'ing our drinks, oysters (we had four kumamotos, and they were good but nothing stood out about them; their impact factor paled in comparison to the smoky paprika catsup), and dessert, should we want to order dessert after the meal. I thought it was so nice of them to approach me before we approached them! And it wasn't my camera that got their attention - I hadn't taken a single picture at this point, and my camera was still stowed away! The Big Man came to apologize too, and I just thought it was so wonderful of them. Our main dishes arrived shortly, and our happy dining experience continued along.
Since my burger yesterday was steak tartare-ish, I had suggested that the Papa get his well-done, thinking it would come medium-well. I'd heard him bitch enough to know that he liked his meats much more done than I do. Unfortunately, well-done is well-done at Luka's, and the Papa would've liked it less well-done. I felt bad, since I messed him up. Oh well. He liked the burger very much, regardless, he said.
My plate of mussels were tasty and plentiful. Plentiful. I had a humongous mound of mussels heaped on my plate. These bivalves were tender and flavorful, with juicy flesh trapped between its shells. There was a wonderful contrast of textures - chewiness from the lip and the soft tenderness of the flesh.
But really has my heart right now is the molten chocolate cake. Lordy. I could've gone back to Luka's tonight for it. Was this really this good on Wednesday too?
I mean, I thought it was good with a deep chocolate/cocoa aroma and moist sweet bitterness, but was it this good the first time???? For some reason, the second time was strikingly better than the first time. Here again, the contrast present in the dish attracted me - the white cold ice cream and the dark hot cake. It was almost like an angel and a devil sitting in one plate, both enticing me to them. The pure white ice cream and the rich dark cake. I've always preferred the naughty over nice, so there was no contest for me. I took my spoon and joined the Dark Side:
And the Dark Side treated me WELL. I was given the gift of the Dark Elixir, oozing out lusciously. God, just thinking back about it is making me salivate. I enjoyed the ice cream just to provide contrast to the warmth from the chocolate and the cake keeping my focus on fully experiencing the cake. I gleefully tainted the perfect white of the ice cream with the luxurious shine of the dark chocolate, enjoying the battle of warm against cold in my mouth. It was a losing battle for the ice cream - the warmth coated the cold center, and in the end, everything melted into a delicate chocolate flavored cream in my mouth.
This was SOOOO good, I really could go there today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and that, and that... Anyone want to accompany me to Luka's soon? I'll be running out of dining partners really soon if I keep wanting to go to Luka's every day like this...