Another big shakeup has hit Santa Monica, as Blue Plate Oysterette has vacated its Ocean Avenue address after nearly 15 years. In its place — and from the same owners — comes Lucky Yu, a neon-fueled seafood hangout that marries the flavors of Baja California and Japan, while still feeling purely of Los Angeles.
Curious customers won’t have to wait for Lucky Yu to come alive; the concept has been popping up inside of Blue Plate at 1355 Ocean Avenue for a bit now. The two projects share an owner in Jenny Rush, the longtime Westside restaurateur behind all of the Blue Plate restaurants around Los Angeles. For this new venture, she’s brought on chef Alex Maranslicht (formerly of Nobu 57 in New York) to work up a menu of hybrid temaki hand rolls, spicy tuna crispy rice, okonomiyaki fries, and other specialties. Some fan favorites from the Blue Plate Oysterette days will still be around as well, like oysters and a clam chowder, but done up with new flair (like miso in the chowder, for one).
Further BPO staples include the lobster roll and fish and chips, along with aguachile and other raw bar starters, including heaping seafood towers that come with whole lobsters and uni. The centerpiece of Maranslicht’s menu, though, is the temaki, served as a kind of open-faced seaweed taco with fillings like spicy New Zealand salmon, bluefin tuna with sambal, and fried oysters with shiitake powder. Customers seeking a bit of luxury can scale up with plates of toro or nori and rice-wrapped wagyu with a black truffle glaze. There will be plenty of Maine lobster on deck, and tons of uni from Santa Barbara as well. The seafood-averse can enjoy a few vegan items, and everyone will have access to the full array of new cocktails, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. The new Lucky Yu menus are below.
The new-look Lucky Yu is a far cry from the coastal, breezy look of Blue Plate Oysterette. The inside is now a heavy wash of black, dark blue, and neon, with splashes of broad Japanese design set against colorful patterns and banquette seating. The restaurant still sports the same ocean views and breezy patio as well, situated just across the street from the Pacific and the nearby pier. There’s plenty of dining competition nearby, particularly with newcomers like Bar Monette and the nearby Mon Ami, but the colorful design and quirky menu should be enough to draw in customers along one of the region’s most trafficked hospitality stretches.
Lucky Yu is now open in the former Blue Plate Oysterette space at 1355 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401, keeping hours from noon to 9:30 p.m.