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Luc Lac, a Vietnamese restaurant in Stuttgart, is known for cooking up stir fry specialties.

Luc Lac, a Vietnamese restaurant in Stuttgart, is known for cooking up stir fry specialties. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Given the name of the Stuttgart restaurant Luc Lac, it’s no surprise that stir-fried dishes from the wok factor heavily into the menu.

There are a variety of “luc lacs” on the menu. On a recent visit, I ordered the classic Vietnamese dish bo luc lac, which roughly translates to shaking beef.

The “shaking” part apparently refers to the chef’s back-and-forth technique with the wok to bring the ingredients together.

The Vietnamese eatery, which is on the north side of the city not far from the Army’s Robinson Barracks, is hidden away on a small side street, making it easy to miss.

But Luc Lac seems to have a loyal clientele among lunchtime patrons from nearby office buildings and in the evening from the surrounding neighborhood.

The namesake dish can be made with chicken, shrimp, squid, crab or beef. All versions come with various mixes of vegetable and sauces.

My beef dish, which was advertised as spicy, was only mildly so. But the flavors were balanced out nicely with a hint of lemongrass as well as mushrooms, onion, sprouts and thinly sliced green beans, bell peppers and chilies. The meat was tender, and it all was infused with a rich, beefy sauce.

The menu has other offerings, too, including soups such as Vietnam’s iconic pho bo, which consists of rice noodles and meat served in an herby broth.

The various spring roll dishes are tasty choices for an appetizer.

The service was polite, unanimated and noninvasive in the manner that is typical in Germany.

The atmosphere inside Luc Lac is bright and modern, with big windows and a patio for outdoor dining when the weather is comfortable.

The eatery Luc Lac, on the north side of Stuttgart, offers a menu mostly focused on Vietnamese specialties.

The eatery Luc Lac, on the north side of Stuttgart, offers a menu mostly focused on Vietnamese specialties. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

The restaurant moved to its current location a year ago from a more central downtown area where it operated for about 10 years. 

It’s unclear what motivated the relocation to a quieter part of town, but the regular crowds suggest the move has gone well so far.

Luc Lac

Address: Im Götzen 1, Stuttgart, Germany

Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 12-3 p.m.; 5:30-11 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-9:30 p.m.

Prices: Dishes under 15 euros. Appetizers are between 5 and 10 euros.

Information: Online: luclac.de

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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