Lucky Luna's Brunch: Part Mexico, Part East Asia
At most restaurants, proclamations of a "fusion" menu usually means more attention paid to the concept than the cooking. Luckily, the word 'fusion" is never used at Lucky Luna, a new Taiwanese-Mexican place in Greenpoint. The three co-owners—two Taiwanese, one Mexican—delved into the comfort food of their childhoods and came up with a menu that showcases their favorites. Using mostly local ingredients, chef Howard Jang serves a brunch that's more flavorful than your typical eggs Benedict.
The Peking Duck Confit Bao ($10) is a must-try. Long Island Pekin ducks are seasoned overnight, then the duck legs are cooked in duck fat until tender. Shredded duck meat and crisped bits of duck skin are nestled into soft, steamed bao. Fresh scallions add some freshness and crunch while a spread of hoisin mayo gives it a pleasant sweetness. It's a steamed bun that stands up well to its more famous counterparts.
A nod to traditional Mexican breakfast, the Chilaquiles ($10) are surprisingly well done. Warm, crispy corn tortilla chips from Tortilleria Nixtamal are topped with salsa verde, crema, queso fresco, pickled red onions, and cilantro. A poached egg brings a layer of eggy richness. Don't forget to add the chorizo seasoned with paprika, cayenne, and tequila.
If you're looking for something spicy, try the Pozole ($10). The stock is made from the Peking duck bones and a chili purée; pork is braised separately, then added to the stew. Cabbage, onions, and radish break up the oiliness and fat kernels of hominy give the soup substance (there's also a vegan option available). If you're especially hungry, order this as a starter; it's less substantial than the other dishes.
There are only two desserts on the menu, but you can't go wrong with the Arroz con Dulce de Leche ($7). Made with jasmine rice, Mexican cinnamon, and homemade dulce de leche, the rice pudding has a hint of sweetness and a satisfying chewiness. It's served chilled with fuji apple slices.
Brunch is served on the weekends from 12 to 4 p.m., and, for now, it's easy to get a seat. Except for the Chilaquiles, you can order these items at dinner too. No matter what time you go, order a bunch of dishes to share; you'll want to try everything.