Occupation: Barber Shop Owner
Location: Mountain View
Favorite Restaurant: Luka’s Taproom & Lounge
Reviewed Luka’s Taproom & Lounge: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
One of the things I like most about Luka’s is the quality of the food. Nice and well presented. The food portions are just ideal for me as it allows room for desserts. The lettuce is crisp; the vegetables are prepared with a nice bite and not overly cooked—sautéed in just enough oil. The seafood is always fresh and doesn’t come with that fishy smell. The Catfish Nuggets are wonderful! They’re well-seasoned and crunchy.
Reservations are good but the wait on my day was none. We were seated instantly! Food was served within a very reasonable time. It allowed time for conversations and review of the menu The server was ready upon request. Wine service is an option and a nice selection of beers and cocktails. Since I’m a BIG Clint Eastwood fan, I recommend the “High Plains Drifter.”
The atmosphere is upbeat, so expect a somewhat high noise level. The bar is near so sports fans do exist. However, it’s not loud enough where one could not hold a conversation. There is a pool table and lounge room on one side and a dance floor on the other open on Friday and Saturday nights with a live DJ that rocks the house. So, on certain days it can be overly loud. Pick your days carefully if you are opposed to an upbeat temple. There is window seating which I like and of course tables are the preferred pick for most. Parking is located in the rear. Very small, maybe 20 cars at best, but you can park on the street and surrounding areas. Located in uptown Oakland, it’s surrounded by new and up-and-coming bars. Music, dancing and pool, what more can you ask for?
Occupation: Consulting Manager
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: La Costanera Restaurant
Reviewed Luka’s Taproom & Lounge: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Luka’s has a selection of comfort food with large portion sizes which comes out piping hot. We were happily surprised by their half-priced bottles of wine on Sundays. It’s a very casual atmosphere with an eclectic crowd. The restaurant can be a bit noisy so not advised to go here if you’re looking to have a quiet conversation. Good place to drop in before catching a show at the Paramount.
Luka’s definitely feels like a bar that serves food. There are no place settings and it has paper napkins. We sat in a booth and unfortunately there was a threesome in the booth behind us that was arguing loudly for half of our meal. None of that would usually bother me – except that for $50/each it seemed a little expensive for that type of experience. Our waitress was very attentive and kept our water filled at all times, and took our drink and food orders right away. Only miss on that front was that we waited a very long time for the dessert to come out. All in all, our evening at Luka’s was enjoyable – however, I don’t think it would be a place I’d make an effort to go back to – unless I was going to a show at the Paramount and knew Luka’s is nearby. I went with my good friends who live down the street from Luka’s and we all agreed – a good meal, but not to a level that would make us feel compelled to go back unless it was out of convenience.
Since we were there on a Sunday night we didn’t see the nightclub part, but that is probably for the best!
Occupation: Analytics Administrator
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: King of Falafel
Reviewed Luka’s Taproom & Lounge: Friday, January 3, 2014
The first thing that greets you when you enter Luka’s is a virtual tsunami of noise. The bar is a busy and boisterous one, with an after-work crowd letting off steam. The dining area is off to the side so there is some relief from the din, however the frequent bursts of cheering are deafening. All to be expected in a pub/taproom.
The service is quick, efficient and friendly. We were greeted and supplied with menus and water immediately. There were interesting non-alcoholic offerings so we tried the Pomegranate Lemonade and the Bundaberg Ginger Beer – both excellent.
The menu is California/high-end pub grub with a few surprises thrown in. We opted for three main dishes with the Mussels Mariniere serving as a starter. These were presented as a huge bowl with a good chewy baguette on the side. The mussels were sweet and there were no unopened holdouts. The sauce was a perfect complement, not too heavy and excellent as a dip for the bread. Next were the Winter Vegetable Pot Pie and the Mac and Cheese, both of which were baked in identical ceramic dishes with a side of sautéed green beans. The pot pie featured a cheddar crust and a tasty combination of sauce and vegetables. It is a very salty dish and quite heavy. The mac and cheese featured four cheeses and was made with pasta shells – baked with a pleasing crust. All of the cheeses seemed to blend together nicely.
Our server recommended the churros, and let us know that they were made by a fellow from Guatemala, so they had a premier pedigree. These are definitely not the churros you find at the ballpark – smaller and served hot in a frites-style cup wrapped in paper they come with a small dish of semi-sweet chocolate sauce. The combination – with a strong cinnamon flavor dominating—was outstanding. I would have liked to have these with an espresso; however Luka’s doesn’t offer this style of coffee. Instead I had an adequate brewed cup that was freshly brewed by our attentive server.
All in all a good experience here. Bring your appetite and $$.