Ayara Lük, the full-service ‘pop-up’ concept for Ayara Thai, which is currently under renovation until late 2017, is way more than a filler during the remodel. Ayara Lük [lük means ‘child’ in Thai] not only serves up many of the renowned family recipes that have made Ayara Thai one of LA’s premiere foodie destinations, but has established itself as the R&D kitchen for the family to test out new flavors and concepts. Foodies, you’re in for a Far East treat.
The menu may only cover one page, but everything is prepared with authentic, organic ingredients and fine execution. Start off with the rustic tom yum soup, which feels like a spa treatment for your mouth with fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime and oyster mushrooms. Move on to the signature pad thai Lük with lobster tail and crab, which boasts heaping portions of each delicacy, or the drunken noodles, with equally bold, albeit intrinsically different character.
Curry is a must, of course, and you really can’t go wrong here. The interesting theme that runs through Ayara Lük’s curries is a sense of decadence that doesn’t often come in Thai food—the curries here are thicker and richer, especially when melded with meats that span far beyond the traditional options at other thai establishments. The short rib green curry, mild in color but nearly alfredo-like in consistency, is a true standout, followed by the equally new-age khao soi chicken noodle and lamb panang curries.
A fun drink menu includes wine, Thai beers and of course delicious Thai iced tea. If you’re somehow still hungry and want to end on a sweet note, the coconut ice cream tacos round out a novel evening.
Located along a nondescript stretch of Sepulveda just north of LAX, Ayara Lük plays home to a modern, expansive atmosphere with an open-air kitchen that may or may not allude to some of the changes we expect to see in the new Ayara Thai. That re-opening is highly anticipated, and there’s a chance that both restaurants may serve side-by-side. In any case, this family-owned legacy is bound for great success moving forward.
Ayara Lük is located at 8740 South Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90045. Average out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$50/person. For more information call (310) 881-4498 or visit Ayara Lük online.
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Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.