Classic Tables: Lucques

Find any season's best produce on Melrose

We recently read a glowing restaurant review that touted such plates as rabbit stuffed with greens, pine nuts and currants, and a burrata-capped tomato salad.

If it weren't for that now-ubiquitous cheese necessitating a definition, we would never have guessed the Los Angeles Times review of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's Lucques was published in 1999.

Twelve years later, not much has changed in the dining room that was once the carriage house of Harold Lloyd, a star of the silent screen. Goin's cooking is still religiously dictated by the markets, capturing moments when the peak season for, say, green garbanzo beans, summer squash and its blossoms all overlap. The trio currently appears alongside ricotta dumplings ($18), while only weeks ago they were accompanied by fava beans.

Lucques isn't the restaurant to look to for technological innovations, but the kitchen finds plenty of ways to keep the basics interesting. The classic French preparation of chicken braised in cream ($28) is neatly contained in caul fat, and the lamb dish ($32) doesn't rely on a bone-in rack. Instead, thin paillards are grilled over wood, their smoky juices slicking wilted escarole, sunchokes and artichokes.

Something tells us 2011's menu will sound just as fresh come 2023, after another 12 years have ticked by.

Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-655-6277 or lucques.com