Monday, January 02, 2006

Restaurant LuLu

Just catching up on some posts. A week or so ago was a meal at LuLu, near the Yerba Buena gardens.

Iron skillet roasted mussels with drawn butter

The first course was, incidentally, the best dish of the entire meal. We went on a Monday night, but the mussels were fresh, plump, and juicy. Perfectly seasoned, these burst in your mouth. With a party of 5, the platter was gone in minutes. However, the following plates were disappointing.

Ahi Tuna with Preserved Lemon Risotto Cake, Sunchokes, Cipollinis, Arugula and Pancetta Vinaigrette

As a lover of fish and especially ahi tuna, this was a very disappointing dish. Each piece was a different level of "doneness," contributing to an overall very inconsistent entree. My first piece was way overcooked, and the flesh became chewy. My second piece was about right, but by then I had lost some interest.

Steamed mediterrean sea bass

This wasn't very memorable as well. The fish was again overcooked, and the tomato based sauce was simply overwhelming. I've had much better steamed fish with soy sauce and oil. The sauce was a bit underseasoned and this dish was quite bland.

Lemon Thyme Gnocchi with Red Torpedo Onion, Snap Peas, King Oyster Mushrooms and Parmesan

The gnocchi was probably my least favorite dish of the night. The texture was quite off, as they came off gummy and overly starchy, rather than tender and melt-in-your-mouth. I really don't remember much about this one, except that I had one and didn't touch the rest.

Wild Mushroom Pizza with Fontina and Thyme

Before you think I am just going to dislike everything, the kitchen came out with two surprisingly good pizzas. In addition to the mushroom pizza, we also ordered a Spicy Prawn Pizza with Oven Dried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto, which I didn't get to picture since people were hungry. The crusts were thin and crispy, and the toppings worked very well. Though I love mushrooms, I may have even liked the prawn pizza more, since it was so zesty.

Warm chocolate cake

Not much to say here, except it's a warm chocolate cake. Too sweet, chocolate flavor bland and artificial. Eh.

Pear tart

I wasn't really sure what kind of pears these were, except they were really sweet--I prefer my pear tarts tart. The tart itself was flaky, but kind of hard to cut into. It didn't come apart easily and was just lukewarm--perhaps it was the fault of the waiter? The pistachio ice cream was average at best; too sweet, not much pistachio flavor.


Apart from the mussels and pizza, this was probably my third favorite dish of all. Good toffee and almond flavor.

LuLu was a bit disappointing overall, but it has some solid dishes. If I were to return, I'd only order the mussels and pizza. I felt that the pizza was better than A16's, so I really don't get why they (A16) get so much hype about it. The mussels are worth a trip though.

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