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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Shining a Light on Luma by Terry Kish

Terry Kish

Terry Kish


To me, Luma restaurant in Mt. Lebanon is one of those places that was hiding in plain sight. Located on Castle Shannon Boulevard next to Hitchhiker Brewing, I’d driven past it numerous times without giving it a second glance.

But not long ago, my husband went to a work function at Luma and came home raving about the food. A few weeks later he took me to what has now become one of my favorite restaurants in the South Hills.

My most recent visit was on a beautiful September evening to belatedly celebrate my youngest sister’s birthday. The interior of Luma is warm and intimate, but wanting to take advantage of the lovely weather, we chose to dine outdoors on their covered patio.

Luma’s dinner menu features around a dozen entrees, as well as a few daily specials. With dishes like marinated Asian Flank Steak in a Korean barbeque sauce and Chocolate and Coffee Duck Breast, deciding what to order was not an easy task! Fortunately, our server was friendly and knowledgeable, helping us to narrow our choices to Stacked Chicken, Jumbo Lump Crabcakes, and Australian Barramundi.

Warm, crusty bread with a flavorful dipping oil kept hunger at bay during the short wait for our meals. While we skipped an appetizer, the table next to us ordered a beautiful, overflowing plate of Fried Calamari, which they attacked with gusto.

My entree that evening was the Jumbo Lump Crabcakes ($32), which were baked and served with a roasted red pepper aoli, with wild rice and sautéed broccolini. The crabcakes were very good with lots of large pieces of crab and minimal filler.

The birthday girl picked the Australian Barramundi ($25), which was pan seared with a blackened oil and herbs, served with wild rice and broccolini. The fish was well prepared, with a mild, almost buttery flavor that went nicely with the side dishes.

Our third sister chose the Stacked Chicken ($20), a beautiful tower of food. Crispy pan-fried chicken breasts sandwiched wild mushrooms, baby spinach, and feta cheese and were topped with a sherry cream reduction and served with multi-grain couscous. The chicken was moist and tender, pairing well with the vegetables and cheese.

Portions at Luma are generous, so even after sharing, there was at least one take-out container going home.

What’s a birthday celebration without dessert? Luma offers tempting treats like a warm date cake with sticky toffee and ice cream, and a sinfully delicious cheesecake (I’ve tried both in the past and highly recommend them!), but this evening we decided to share Lemon Berry Crème Cake and Lemon Sorbet. The cake was amazing – lemony, creamy, and lots of delicious berries bursting with flavor! Equally delicious was the sorbet, which was tart, tangy, and totally refreshing.

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Whether it’s dinner to mark a special event or dinner to celebrate Tuesday, Luma makes any occasion one to remember!

Located at 186 Castle Shannon Boulevard in Mt. Lebanon, Luma is open from 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Wine is ½ off on Wednesdays. Reservations are suggested.

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