Review: Lilly’s French Café & Bar

9:45 PM Kari R. 7 Comments

A Foodie in L.A. – Part 2 of 3

After a lack of sleep, a three-hour graduation, the pounding sun, and having to miraculously ward off biotchy parents since I was saving 14 seats (no sir, these programs weren’t just nicely placed here – I got up at 7am to put them here for my relatives). As you can tell, my little granola bar was wearing off and I couldn’t have been happier to eat.

Lilly’s – a little wine bar also located in Venice, had a cute outdoor patio seating. Luckily, my organized brother had planned this luncheon in advanced and had selected a prefixed menu. I think the two of us are on the same wavelength as I couldn’t have selected a more perfect menu.

From my options, I chose a caprese salad, a steak sandwich with fries and a chocolate soufflé.

I was either so hungry that even a cow’s tongue would have tasted good, or it was the food; I think it was the latter.

One thing that set this place apart from a majority of restaurants I go to was the presentation. The chefs in the back must have been artsy farts, as they certainly know how to create a beautiful plate – that tasted just as great as it looked.

My caprese was light, perfectly salted, and assembled with a beautiful light pesto sauce decorating the plate. And, in between each wedge of mozzarella and tomato, was a smudge of a savory olive tapenade.

My main lunch dish was a steak sandwich served with a side of fries. The sandwich was comprised of a NY steak, sautéed mushrooms and onions and Dijon mustard. Overall, I think steak sandwiches should never be made with anything other than a filet mignon – its lack of fat is a nice feature when eating a sandwich so you don’t look like a cow grazing. The sandwich was nothing special and wasn’t seasoned. Oh if only it had just a little bit of salt!

But, hands down, the chocolate soufflé was amazing.

Disclaimer: I could eat chocolate everyday, with every meal. I don’t quite get the phrase; “oh this chocolate is too rich for me” NO chocolate is ever too rich or fatty for me. And, obviously, dark chocolate lowers your blood pressure. No joke, it’s science.

The soufflé was like a moist brownie with the molten fudge in the inside. And, a nice little dollop of pistachio ice cream is always a complement. Basically, I have no reminisce of this dish since I inhaled it. Sorry.

Well, in less than 24 hours I had dealt with the LA drivers, warded off rude parents, eaten two things of fries, a measly granola bar, a steak sandwich, salad and chocolate goodness.

So, how did Lilly’s pan out you ask?? Well, if the steak had just a pinch of salt this could have gotten a perfect score. But, without that flavor, it just missed it...

Name: Lilly’s French Café & Bar
Pricing: $12 lunch special; $20-25 per dinner dish
Address: 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
Byte Rating: 4 out of 5


  1. I have to agree with you on the overall victuals of Lilly's. Although I was exceedingly impressed with the presentation and flavor of the caprese, I found my second course somewhat lacking (as you have mentioned). I've had my fair share of steak sandwiches over the years and consider myself to be a connoisseur of such heavenly cuisine. I think what killed it for me was the Dijon mustard. Putting Dijon on a steak sandwich is like combining "lamb and tuna fish"... at least for me.

    It could have been the Gin coursing through my veins and out my pores, or even the sun stoke I suffered during the speech of "El Presidente del Dictador." I seriously thought that I was being recruited into some foreign legion.

    Anyway, I give Lilly's 3.5 of 5.

  2. That food looks so good! Kare, why would you do this to me? I have no good food at home and now i'm starving!!

  3. Hmm... who took these photos? It so professional. Either that or an amazing lens.

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  5. I know...such great, clear and artsy photos. That photographer must have an eye;)
    Sorry to make you all starving, but I couldn't resist posting the pics. The food was pretty amazing!

  6. I've been there myself and have to agree with your comments! I love what I had, especially the dessert....good thing I decided not to diet that weekend!