At 3103 W. Leigh St., Lucky AF (Asian Fusion) is set to open for lunch and dinner this fall in the former Aloi restaurant space.
This will be Eat Restaurant Partners’ lucky number 13 in their impressive roster, and they’re soliciting the expertise of the group’s master chef, Hai Truong, to help realize its vision of a “fresh and fun take on a modern sushi restaurant.”
The Vietnamese chef says he’s been working in the food industry since, well, he laughs, “Maybe ’86 … ’88 … It’s been a long time.” In addition to overseeing the Lucky kitchen, Truong will continue his work at Osaka Sushi & Steak and Red Salt, both Eat restaurants. Lucky’s menu will look very similar to Osaka, Troung says, but the atmosphere will be completely different.
Where Osaka is a sleek, intimate dining room located in an upscale strip mall, Lucky is a stand-alone, robin’s-egg blue storefront, adorned with hand-painted murals by local artist Brad Bacon.
It’s got the hip, young feel of a Scott’s Addition joint with the prestige of an established restaurant helmed by an experienced chef. Truong’s sushi is, as anyone who has ever dined at Red Salt or Osaka can attest, divine. From complex specialty rolls like the blue oyster cult – stuffed with fried oyster and topped with filet mignon, spicy mayo, scallion and black caviar – to the simple elegance of the salmon sashimi, Truong’s creations are a sushi lover’s dream.
Lucky AF has released a few menu teasers on social media including entrees like sesame chicken, beef katsu and grilled lamb rack. It will have happy hour every day from 3 to 6 p.m., with specials on liquor, beer, wine and sake plus a pandemic-friendly patio area and, like Osaka, a separate sushi bar where all the magic will happen.
The new spot’s top 20 specialty rolls will include the cheekily named Harley Quinn roll with shrimp tempura, smoked salmon, avocado, spicy shrimp, lemon zest, jalapeño sauce and balsamic and the Superman with tempura shrimp, spicy kani and sweet soy.
Lucky’s lunch box specials will also be very similar to Osaka, and Troung says it’ll have monthly rotating chef’s specials, too.
Truong says that while opening a new concept during a pandemic is not ideal, the group didn’t really have much choice.
“We’ve been paying rent since March!” But if the recent 45-minute wait at Osaka on a weekday evening is any indication of Troung’s devoted following, we think Lucky AF will be just fine.
Keep up to date with Lucky’s opening by following it at getluckyaf.com.