I have a mental check-off list of musical artists I’d like to see in my lifetime. Such a musical artist is Meat Loaf. He who would do anything for love (but he won’t do that) was playing at the Wiltern on Wednesday June 27th and I would not have even known if it weren’t for the blessing that is Groupon, hawking insane discounts I would have been heartbroken to pass up on. Luckily my friend Natalie heard me lamenting to my mother how I could not find anyone to go with and she jumped at the opportunity to accompany me and indulge my love for a man with the rock opera vocal chords.
The gig didn’t begin until 8:00pm (doors opening at 7:00pm) but Natalie got out of work by 5:00pm. Dinner plans were obviously in the works. I checked my other Groupons to see what I had lying around and spied my Luna Park discount – $25 for $50 worth of food. Figuratively jumping for joy, Natalie and I made plans to meet up there and have our pre-rock concert dinner.
Natalie went for this and this alone. It had a strong zip to it and a very fresh taste. The sesame seeds and onion added a crisp texture balance to the soft fish and the wonton crisps were not greasy. However, as a starter, I find it to be a touch pricey.
I adore crab and this along with the gnocchi was the driving force behind me omitting a traditional entree for appetizers. The hushpuppies look greasy and gross from the darkened exterior, but the innards were filled with plump and tender chunks of fresh crab meat. Still, the batter did make it a wee heavy and I’d suggest panko in the future (though I suppose they wouldn’t be hushpuppies then would they?) The Old Bay aioli was a nice spin, though I think I’d like to try it with some fresh lemon next time as well.
The highlight of the savories. I let Natalie have a bite but really kept this one to my greedy self, wishing it had an option for as a main. Oh, how I would order this over and over again! I’d be surprised if the gnocchi weren’t made in the kitchen that day it was so fresh tasting with just a bite of al dente resistance. The corn and mushrooms were the ideal companions for this summer dish and the truffle cream sauce wasn’t too earthy tasting (as I so loathe) nor drowning out the other components. I’d recommend this starter the way everyone else recommends the macaroni and cheese.
Last time I went with a sangria, but this time I knew I wanted a proper cocktail and this was the only option that really jumped at me. It was very refreshing.
At this point we had spent $46ish of the $50 Groupon but decided to get a dessert to split.
I am oh so glad Natalie was game for this. I rarely indulge in the peanut butter/chocolate combination, why I do not know because it is magnificent. From the caramel drizzled dollop of cream to the house made graham cracker crust, this was heaven. The whipped peanut butter mousse filling was light as a cloud and married perfectly with the top layer of chocolate. The addition of the peanuts atop gave the ideal texture contrast to take off some of the creaminess, giving a richly needed crunch. Natalie and I were in love and she proclaimed next time she would be ordering her own slice.
Now, I’ve only been to Luna Park once before – also on a Groupon – and I had mixed feelings on it. I won’t lie; I still don’t know quite how I feel about Luna Park. I am confident I wouldn’t go back without a Groupon or somebody else offering to pay because even though their food is very good and of a certain standard, I just do not comprehend some of the prices. It might be just me, but I do have to be honest about my feelings. Regardless, Luna Park is still a place I would recommend to anyone who asked.
672 S. La Brea (near Wilshire)
Los Angeles, CA 90036