How can you not love Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen? They describe their establishment as, "We are just one big, pho sling’n, fish sauce cookin', cocktail pourin', Portland lovin' family." I LOVE THAT. Even if the food was awful, it would be worth checking them out just for that description alone. Fortunately for everyone, the food is exceptional, they're open super late, and they are convenient from anywhere in downtown Portland.
I arrived at Luc Lac at noon, so right at the height of the lunch rush. Upon arrival I joined the line and tried to decide what I would order.
Luc Lac is a counter service restaurant (like my two faves Lardo and Grassa). This is definitely a trend that's on the rise in Portland, and honestly, I don't mind it at all.
When you get up to the counter, you're met with a towering copper menu of delicious options (they also have smaller paper menus for patrons who don't wish to crane their necks toward the ceiling in order to decide what to get).
Once you've ordered and paid, the ever-so-Portland waitstaff will explain that it is now time to take your number and go wait on the other side of the counter for a table to be ready (they seat you in the order that you've ordered - which is genius, as by the time you're seated your food is that much closer to being ready.
There are all kinds of things to do while waiting for your table. People watching is always an interesting option.
As is taking in the artwork..
Watching the dudes in the kitchen also makes the time fly by (I didn't order Pho, but it seems like everyone else did)
Once our table was ready I sat down to my delicious iced Vietnamese coffee ($4.00). Courier Coffee with condensed milk and crushed ice. It was very good, but so full of ice that it was gone in just two sips.
We started with Pork Crispy Rolls ($4.00). They don't look like much, but they were very good. Crispy and light, served with a spicy dipping sauce.
T got the Grilled Chicken Rice Plate ($7.50). THREE honey glazed chicken breasts on about a weeks worth of rice, with two pork crispy rolls, spicy dipping sauce and delicious cucumber and tomato garnish. This was enough food for at least three meals.
I got the Grilled Shrimp Skewers Rice Plate ($9.00). SO MANY SHRIMP! I was expecting a skewer with maybe four shrimp. This was three skewers of three shrimp each - large, wonderful shrimp, covered in garlic and sesame oil, doused with peanuts and scallions. Again, served with two pork crispy rolls and a plate of rice the size of my head.
We really enjoyed everything we had - and the food that the people around us were eating all looked great too. Just be prepared to have leftovers for days after eating here.
If you'd like to check out Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen for yourself their website is www.luclackitchen.com. They are located at 835 SW 2nd Ave in Portland. They are open for lunch Monday - Friday from 11:00am - 2:30pm. Happy Hour is Monday - Saturday from 4:00pm - 7:00pm. They serve dinner Monday - Thursday from 4:00pm - Midnight, Friday - Saturday from 4:00pm - 4:00am. Luc Lac is closed on Sunday.