Wednesday, March 12, 2003


There are certainly better menus elsewhere, but for overall experience and atmosphere, I find Lilly's on Abbot Kinney pretty darn near irresistable. The food itself is good -- when I went Friday night, I started with a yellow and red tomato tartin in a green basil sauce that was one of the best things I've ever eaten there, and then followed it up with a good pork tenderloin served on a raft of mashed potatoes, with caramelized onions et al. (I often will get the Hanger Steak, kinda of a flank steak in a shallot sauce, served with french fries.) But I like the atmosphere even more than the food. First, there's the clientele -- a real age mix, low on hipsters, with just a feel that this is mostly a Venice crowd of architects and artists and so on. The outside patio is romantic and lovely; the indoor space, underneath large odd paintings, is also pleasant. And if you get there early, it's great to sit with your friend or companion and have a glass of wine. The service can be spotty -- so understand that you're going to have a full-on, two or three hour dinner. And enjoy.


Found a great, cheap Oaxacan place right near my therapist's office, so that I can wolf down some mole before wolfing down some... uh, well-being and self-awareness. It's on Santa Monica Blvd near Barrington -- kind of smack dab in the heart of that huge unwieldy thing known as West Los Angeles. Jequila is just a door or two east of Cafe 50s. I had a carnitas burrito in black, chocolatey mole. Bueno!