LILLY’S FRENCH CAFÉ & BAR
SERVING FINE FRENCH FARE FOR 10+ YEARS IN VENICE BEACH
Trendy Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach has seen many hotspots come and go; yet for the last decade, Lilly’s French Café & Bar has been a favorite among locals and anyone else who knows where to find classic French bistro cuisine.
When Lilly’s first opened its doors in 1999 the French restaurant was only one of two eateries on the stylish block. Now, owners Yon Idiart and Chef Francis Bey, two Frenchmen with a fondness for fine French fare, have redone the restaurant’s interior and menu, offering expanded bar seating, a new bar and dinner menu as well as a handsome new look.
To compliment the additional bar seating areas, a terrific new Bar menu, created by Bey, filled with Petit Bites priced between $3 and $8 offers a myriad of small tastes designed to make drinking wine and munching an art form. The entire menu is also available in any of the bar areas.
During our recent visit, we opted to sit in the main dining room patio, always the heart of Lilly’s, now completely covered for year round Al Fresco dining. With a nice glass of wine by our side, we opted to start by splitting a zesty Caesar Salad, followed by the Escargots Bourguignon (classic garlic butter snails) that Bey calls a “must-have.”
We also ordered the savory Basque dish Oeufs Cocotte au Chorizo (Ramekin baked eggs with chorizo) that aptly represents co-owner Idiart’s homeland.
For our entrees we ordered the hearty signature dish Braised Lamb Shank, served with glazed carrots, mash potatoes and spinach, as well as the classic Chateaubriand, center cut filet mignon with fingerling potatoes, green beans, and wild mushrooms.
Offering great bargains for classic French cuisine, with a nice California touch, dinner entrees range between $15 to $24. The restaurant is now also offering lunch specials where for only $12 you will get your choice of appetizer (soup, salad or gazpacho) and an entrée consisting of a sandwich, a made-to-order omelette, special-of-the-day, or pasta. You can also add a dessert for $3 more.
A fixture of the thriving Abbot Kinney dining scene, a meal at Lilly’s is more than just a savory bite; it’s an experience to the palate as well as a fun night out in an electric and boisterous environment. Bon appetite.
Lilly’s French Café & Bar is located at 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. Hours: Lunch Mon-Sat: 12:00pm-2:30pm; Sunday Brunch: 11:00am-2:30pm; Dinner Mon-Thurs: 6:00pm-10:00pm; Fri-Sat: 6:00 pm-10:30pm; Sun: 5:30 pm-9:30pm; Happy Hour: Daily 5:00 pm-7:30pm. Call 310-314-0004.