Lusca closed over the 2015-2016 New Year’s season.
Caveat: This is a lunch review only
Emily and I recently visited Lusca for lunch with another coworker, Juan. As soon as I heard about Lusca, it immediately piqued my interest. Lusca is owned by the same people who run Octopus Bar over on the east side which I haven’t had a chance to hit up yet but have heard nothing but good things about. Lusca is located in Buckhead near Saltyard and R. Thomas in the old Bluefin Sushi space. The menu is seafood-based which includes oysters and sushi; a welcomed part of any menu for me.
As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I fell in love with the layout, space, artwork, tables, and chairs. It was one of the few restaurants I have walked into and been so drawn into the ambiance, vibe, and decor. The first things you are sure to notice are the two giant, hand-painted octopi on the walls. The rich wood of the tables with old school cafeteria chairs are a nice touch, with richer, more plush seats at the bar. I know wood-heavy spaces are something that is a popular trend for new restaurants around town but having that combined with unique art and the perfect balance of casual and comfortable while also being sophisticated really shines here.
The menu is definitely a bit limited in scope which may be off-putting to some. I would rather have a restaurant nail six or seven items versus be the chinese buffet that tries to appease everyone with 20 mediocre items. Although oysters are half-priced during lunch, we opted to skip them and just go ahead and order entrees. Juan and I couldn’t pass up the lobster roll while Emily opted for the rock crab. Lobster rolls are definitely one of those things I am very picky about. Living in Atlanta and being landlocked, I have found it hard to find a decent lobster roll around town and those that do serve them charge 17+ bucks for it and it ends up being mediocre. It’s a staple item of a good seafood-oriented spot but in most spots, I usually would have been better off getting something else for less cost.
However, I placed trust in Lusca this go around and was not disappointed. There was definitely a fair share of lobster served on the roll and it was dressed in mayo but not smothered like you find at a lot of places that try and mask the quality of their lobster – which doesn’t allow you to actually taste the lobster you paid for. I also like the almost potato-esque bun that it was served on that was slightly grilled but still maintained its structure and held up well with the lobster. Juan mentioned the fries were like a better version of McDonalds and for me, that is a huge compliment (McDonalds still serves the best fast food fries by a mile). Every single fry was thin and crispy, no soggy limp ones to be found. They were definitely on the saltier side but that’s half of what makes them good and addictive.
We got a side of summer squash which served as a vegetable plate. Not often do you find cheese served on fresh vegetables which was an interesting twist but it worked here.
We couldn’t pass up dessert so we ended up ordering the millionaire shortbread. It was the perfect dessert for lunch as it wasn’t overly decadent and heavy but you know you got your calories’ worth by the rich and butteriness of the shortbread with the thin layers of chocolate and caramel on top.
Really, the only knock I would have on Lusca is the price. Our lunch definitely wasn’t cheap and ran $30+ per person so it’s not a place most could frequent often but it makes for the perfect client or special occasion spot during the day. I imagine dinner is just as good which I will be back for and I always go into a seafood centric spot knowing I will pay a little extra for my meal but as long as the quality is there, it is worth it. As mentioned, the decor and interior of Lusca is some of my favorite around town and the food matches.
1829 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30309