Every city should have a cool. Friendly, Italian eatery and Lucca just about fills that spot in HCMC. HCMC seemed to me to have a lot of lousy Italian restaurants (and with the closing of La Brescillia and La Hosteria not so say these were that great anyway) there is now more opportunity for a place like Lucca to thrive.

 

From the moment you walk up the stairs to The New York style loft, you feel as though you have found an in place.

Welcome to Vietnam. Brian, who has made his name in landmark restaurants in New York (most famously Balbazar in the meat packers district) works on a style that does not require the best address just tasty food and atmosphere. The servings are big and the food is what I would call a mixture of comfort food: the pasta with meat balls and pees is yummy, with a dash of cream and butter in the tomato sauce. There is more sophisticated food on the menu as well (we nearly always start with the oysters) but I keep coming back and ordering the meat balls. The wine list priced reasonably and it is the sort of place that I want to stay open.

If anything, the space is a bit too big and feels a bit empty if not busy but, when full, it buzzes.

 

Overall, I love it.

 

88, Ho Tung Mau St., Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, HCMC

Tel: 08 3915 3692