Restaurant Lulu is a great open warehouse style nice restaurant with a wood-burning roasting oven. All of the food at Lulu is served
family style to share with friends. We paid a recent visit to Lulu on a Friday night and it was one busy place. The room is one very large and open square with
a high ceiling. Active conversations permeate the restaurant for engaged diners. When we arrived, Restaurant Lulu was quite busy seating a banquet room. After
waiting for the hostess service, we took a seat at the full bar. There is also a separate wine bar and an extremely extensive wine list spanning many pages. We
enjoyed a bottle of Rombauer Merlot for $55 with excellent bar service. We were seated about 15 minutes after our reservation time, which was no problem as we
were already relaxing at the bar. One comment on Lulu - the hostess service could use some improvement. A combination of attitude and disorganization for the
hostess area did not make for the best mix.
We were seated in the center of the cavernous Restaurant Lulu dining room. Tables are set quite close as is common in San Francisco. However
with the general noise level of conversations you can enjoy a relatively private meal with your companion. The dinner menu allows for a variety of combinations
to share including wood-fired pizzas, small plates, antipastis, and oysters. We decided to sample the "3 choice antipasti" and tried a plate of beets
(yellow & red); a cheese tart; and fig and melon. These were excellent. The vegetables were fresh, tasty, and unusual - and the goat cheese tart was made
just right. This plate was a great start to the meal. The exact dishes were roasted beets with walnuts and ricotta salata; leek, goat cheese, and bacon tart;
and summer melon and black mission figs with sliced prosciutto. The three antipasti items cost was $14.50.
We relaxed for a while at Restaurant Lulu while our main entrees were prepared. We ordered the fennel scented pork loin with olive oil mashed
potatoes from the oak fired rotisserie ($17). My companion tried the roasted black cod with rainbow chart, Christmas lima beans, fine herbs, and toasted
baguette ($26). You can add vegetables and sides to your meal -- we added the carrots and sugar snap peas with red pearl onions and thyme; and the pole beans
with whole grain mustard vinaigrette (each of these two dishes was about $5).
All of the food was excellent-- the vegetables were fresh and thoughtfully prepared, and the meats were cooked just right. The smoked flavor
in the pork was delicious. One note - some of the mixes in the vegetables were not quite as shown on the menu. For example, the carrots and snap peas were
about 95% carrots.
For desert, we enjoyed the Profitores (~$8) filled with a fragrant and flavorful homemade coffee ice cream; covered in a delicious and
slightly bitter chocolate sauce with almonds. The dessert was really special and a big hit with our table.
We highly recommend Restaurant Lulu as a San Francisco experience. Its got great food, vibrant atmosphere, and not priced out of this world.
We were out for about $100 with tip & tax, excluding that bottle of Merlot. Reservations are highly recommended, and valet parking is available for $11 plus
tip (2005). We've included We review some excerpts from the Restaurant Lulu menu for your dining pleasure:
Oysters & Shellfish - Fruits de Mer Platters with a selection of Oysters, Clams, and Prawns
Don't miss Restaurant Lulu's Palo Alto version - Zibibbo. We tried Zibibbo and were extremely impressed. Excellent small
plate dishes, entrees, and a lively bar scene. Located in a Palo Alto neighborhood with a door like a house, but a huge warehouse within. Highly recommended
by our editors.