The Pure Luck

Your Rating: None
7 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

707 N. Heliotrope Drive
Los Angeles, California, 90029
United States

(323) 660-5993

// CLOSED //

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Added by sloejams on 01-08-2008

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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

An inconspicuous little joint in the middle of a hip(ster) neighborhood. Never would have guessed there was beer inside, let alone good beer, just by looking at the place.

The staff and most of its patrons were tattooed. The walls were decorated in color prints from some local photographer's series of people who look attractively confused while eating cereal. The tables were wooden and everything else--sorry for the paucity of detail, but I had been drinking--seemed very intentionally bohemian, poor but attractive, run-down but in no way dodgy or dirty.

Here's the thing about all these things: there's nothing wrong with them, but I can see how they can seem intimidating. Hipsters get a bad rep. And, yes, I know that no one would ever call themself a hipster, that even an ascot-wearing, unwashed 24-year-old trustfud kind with John Water's moustache would violently reject the title. As would this place and its patrons. But they could get called hipsters. People have most definitely called them hipsters.

But, again, there's nothing wrong with dressing the way these people do. I don't see how it's in any way douchier than any other major fashion trend. There are certainly jerks among hipsters, but that's no reason to dismiss an entire aesthetic. What I'm getting at is that "hipster" works well as a descriptor--works very well, in this case--but I don't intend that descriptor as a pejorative, even if most people do.

So, okay, that's out of the way. Although this place is highly self-conscious it's in no way unfriendly or pretentious. I brought my father and we were both treated warmly. The waitstaff was great, actually.

I don't eat meat but I don't often eat vegan food, seeing as how it's usually awful. Vegans tend to be, well, *dedicated* to their diets, almost religious, and as such they tend to overlook and violently deny any imperfections or shortcomings of their lifestyle choice. It's like that Mr. Show Tofuti sketch, where the guy who invented an awful ice cream substitute gets really mad when people tell him that Tofuti doesn't taste like ice cream. Vegans believe that the gelatinous plasticine they eat tastes as good as cheese. They honestly believe that. And so their food tends to be awful.

That's probably a midwest thing. Or, I've been told that's a midwest thing. Anyhow, this was my first visit to a west coast vegan restaurant and my expectations were greatly exceeded. The food had flavor. That flavor was good.

This is not primarily a beer bar so much as it's a little restaurant that happens to serve a lot of good beer (think Acadia in Minneapolis). Because of this, the waitstaff doesn't know all that much about the beers that are on tap, although they will give you bluntly honest opinions about each one. There was a beer for every mood, including a handful of locals that I didn't see anywhere else on my whole trip. Also, it's got the cheapest craft pints in LA.

A must-visit.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RexF
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This restaurant is CLOSED and has been for months.

I am hopeful that the owners will open another place that is similar as this was a true gem of a place in Los Angeles.

As an LACC student, I used to walk around the corner and drink some of the best beer available anywhere in the area and chow down on delicious vegan food.

They must have had some great connections at Russian River because they often had 2 or 3 of their beers on tap. They also carried a lot of Craftsman and Eagle Rock beers.

I miss having this place as my neighborhood pub/restaurant.

Pure Luck come back!!!

 583 characters

Photo of chelovek
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Tasty vegan food and a solid tap list make for a fine experience all around at Pure Luck. Last night's tap list included four jolly pumpkin brews, two Bruery offerings, blind big, yeti and a few others I can't remember. Don't be scared away by the vegan menu. I have taken carnivores along with me every time I've been here. After the meal, all have proclaimed their stomachs to be full of delicious food. A short jaunt off the 101 and Melrose; one would be remiss not to stop by for a couple of pints and having a go at one of the jackfruit infused dishes at Pure Luck.

 570 characters

Photo of sitonacan
4.75/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

For those who disagree, I'm sorry, but in general, being a vegitarian and beer lover often don't mix. There exceptions, and I am one of them. I know there are others out there, and for those of us looking for a place to both enjoy the food as well as the beer, this is the place. The vegan food here is excellent, and even meat eaters will love it. I have been in there many a time and heard, "wait this is vegan?" Try the BBQ sandwich/burrito, it is sensational.

Now on top of the great food, they also have a fantastic beer selection. Now I make this claim in a different manner than most. Many would say that to say a beer list is exceptional, it has to have both quality and quantity. At least this is what I have heard here in LA since I have been here. I believe it doesn't matter how many beers you have. If you have one beer, but that beer happens to be Lefthand's Milk Stout, I would say you have a damn fine beer selection. Pure Luck fits this mold. Usually having between only 6 and 8 beers on tap with a few bottles, it can't keep up with the quantity of a Stuffed Sandwich (San Gabriel), Lucky Baldwin's(Pasadena/ Sierra Madre), or Daily Pint (West LA). But every single beer they have is unique and lovely. They usually have a few different Craftsman, which you can't go wrong with. They also often have very good belgians, including America's own Ommegang(spelling might be off sorry).

Anyway, I thoroughly believe this is one of the best beer bar/beer restaurants in Los Angeles, and with out a doubt the best Vegan food place as well. If you are on the east side you must check it out. I promise, you won't be dissappointed.

 1,645 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3


Visited around noon on Tuesday, 08/05/08.

The parking lot was tight but there was a space or two available. Street parking was nowhere to be found.

My friend and I were seated promptly, noticing the Stone XII on tap as we walked past the counter.

The beer selection was very good (several Craftsman and other intriguing selections) and fairly inexpensive. Five bucks a pint for Stone XII is a bargain!

The wait staff was relatively attentive and had good attitudes; what complaints I have are negligible.

The food: I have to say straight up that neither of us liked our food. We started with a plate of gnocchi (aka potato buddies) and they were a bit bland. The peanut sauce accompanying them went a ways towards alleviating that, but not all the way.

I had a "carnitas" burrito and my friend had a "pulled pork" sandwich, each featuring breadfruit that looked amazingly like meat but had neither the texture nor flavor of such.

Being omnivores, neither of us enjoyed the fake meat and, next time, I will stick with a straight-up salad or some other vegetable dish. In their defense, the food seemed to be prepared with care and turned out as intended. So I balanced my lack of enjoyment with the quality to come up with "average".

There was a beer delivery while we were there, which caused me to notice that kegs seem to be unrefrigerated in the next room over in an un-air-conditioned storage room. Maybe they were just empties, but it got me to worrying about the treatment of the beer. Ours tasted fine, however.

Overall, if you're a vegetarian beer lover, this is your new destination. If you like to eat things with faces, then I'd suggest a beer and a plate of fries or a salad on your way to somewhere else.

Value: an appetizer, two entrees, two beers, tax and tip came to almost $42.00.

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Photo of goschool
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped into Pure Luck in the Hel-Mel section of Los Angeles over the weekend. Pair a meal up with gelato at Scoops across the street or an espresso drink at Choke (Normal & Virgil) and you'll do very well for yourself.

It's a small place with a simple plastic-covered wood tables. It was nearly full, yet we still had our choice of two open tables. The crowd is young and hip and the music is delightful mix of indie rock and older pop.

They don't fuck around with the beer list. Taps included Stone IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Craftsman 1903, Craftsman Heavenly Hefe, Craftsman Bier de Mars, Craftsman Triple White Sage, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Ommegang Hennepin, Ommegang Rare Vos, Firehouse Pale Ale, and a few more. AleSmith Decadence was the bottled offering. I believe my Smoked Porter was only four bucks.

The food is tasty. I almost want to give them another half a point for their menu. It has a pig on the cover and all of the jackfruit dishes are described with the meat it's replacing in quotes, for example, BBQ "Pork." I think that's funny. I ordered the BBQ sandwich and sweet potato fries. The jackfruit is a bit mushier than its dead animal counterpart, but it's still really good. It certainly kicks tofu's ass.

I recommend you check it out next time you're on the Eastside or if you're looking for a vegetarian/vegan option.

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Photo of sloejams
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Somewhat new vegan restaurant / pub in my hood that I somehow only found out about recently. They have 15 beers on draught: some incredibly tasty stuff (6 from Craftsman, 3 from Stone, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Hop Rod Rye and about 5 others). One of the best beer selections in Los Angeles, I was floored. $4 a pint, which is about as cheap as pretty much anywhere for quality beer.

The food is really good as well. I got the "carnitas" which were made of marinated jackfruit. I was very impressed. It didn't taste like pork, but was very flavorful and definitely seemed meat-like. I saw the french fries, which looked great and their plantain taco is supposed to be bomb.

The only thing I wish is that it was more like a bar and less like a cafe.

I definitely recommend. And Scoops - a phenomenal, envelope-pushing ice cream shop - is right across the street for dessert.

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The Pure Luck in Los Angeles, CA
Place rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 7 ratings