Lulu California Bistro
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and Acqua Pazza Bistro
Merging Contemporarty art and California casual cuisine, Lulu comes with good genes. Located in a building that once housed a major art gallery, it’s now the centerpiece of downtown Palm Springs with an au courant menu to match the cool modernist design.
Defined by sweeping staircases, the vast, high-ceilinged space is lit by crystal chandeliers wrapped in pastel acrylic shades — a yin-yang reminder that traditional and cutting-edge culinary art also work together here, all sprinkled with historic Palm Springs glamour. Water bubbling up in a thick glass column and walls of sparkling mosaic tile create a welcome entry, reflecting the joy of a happy staff , headed by General Manager Willie Rhine. Astoundingly, in its first year, Lulu was named one of the top 100 “hip” restaurants in the United States by OpenTable.
Lulu took a cue from sister restaurant Acqua Pazza, another appealing venue at The River at Rancho Mirage. Acqua’s expanded, shaded waterfront terrace, offers diners a view of the Santa Rosa Mountains. A high-arched ceiling gives the restaurant an elegant scale. Warmly painted walls, newly refined interior seating, large tilted mirrors and now a new sound-absorbing ceiling create a delightful dining experience.
Both venues boast a lively atmosphere, scenic alfresco dining, and the same extensive menu designed by powerhouse Chef Arturo Casillas. The wide-ranging breakfast and brunch menus; huge California bistro selections, multiple awardwinning, affordable three-course feasts; early bird, and all-day/all-night happy hour specials make for exciting choices. Plus, gluten-free and vegetarian menus are notably featured.
Be sure to save room for dessert: perhaps the spectacular Floating Island, a feast for the table served in a Titanic-size champagne glass or the talk-of-the-town flourless triple chocolate cake. While it’s rumored that “there’s always a party at Lulu,” either restaurant makes for a great celebration. Acqua Pazza and Lulu are open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 8 a.m. until late evening. Text the word LULU to the number 90947 or scan below to receive special offers from Lulu and Aqua Pazza.
Lulu California Bistro
Acqua Pazza California Bistro
Price Range: $$$
On Acqua Pazza’s terrace overlooking the water at The River are Acqua Pazza and Lulu California Bistro owners Barbara and Jerry Keller (left) with Pastry Chef Karla Casillas, General Manager Willie Rhine. and Executive Chef Arturo Casillas.
In modernism-themed Lulu are several of Executive Chef Arturo Casillas’ sumptuous dishes: (clockwise from bottom) the popular Tower of Avocado and Ahi Tuna Tartar; Lobster Salad with shrimp over organic mixed field greens with tropical fruit and passion fruit vinaigrette; a classic Tiramisú; the spectacular Floating Island dessert; and grilled pork chop topped with maple syrup and baked apple glaze served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables.
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