Lily in Venice
Picked up Chowpup to pick up some lunch and tried Lilys, actually by default because first choice was the Italian behind Lillys, on Abbot Kinney which looked charming. But parking here is brutal so went into the Joes/Lilys parking lot and tried our luck there. Pup loves eating on a patio looking at a garden so this was perfect - really nice space. We were the second table since it was not noon yet however the two tables to the left arrived after we did and before we got menus, these tables had water, menus and some orange juice aperitif. Finally I tripped up someone and we got some water and much later menus. But the table was perfect, great day so we all had a good time talking, but still no food. Ordered the lunch special ($10) - I had zuccini soup and a croque monsieur with a salad and fries - soup had no discernable flavor including zuccini or salt, it was bland; salad OK with a vinegarette and the croque a pleasant cheesy offering with limited ham. Fries good. Pup had the special of tri tip sliced in an excellent sauce with fries and salad. Partner just had French onion soup which she could not eat and sent back as neither being soup, nor onion, nor French since it had a broth of unknown origin heaped with herbes de provence proving to be an inedible combination (they took it off the bill). Fortunately Pup and I had large servings and we dividied our lunches up and made up for starvation by ordering dessert. That was the good part - berry crumble - raspberries and rhubarb under a heavy crumble crust with a scoop of vanilla ice plus Floating Island - my all time favorite dessert. The Grenoille in New York has the best Flotante of all time, where the islands are just scoops of merangue taken on a silver spoon while this offering was a slab of merangue (this spelling doesn't seem right) in an excellent creme anglaise with caramel. The slab was not the most flavored I have ever tasted but when you have dreams of this dessert and hope that Julia Child who shares this addiction will come to your patio one day bearing the dessert for brunch, this was a good effort. Not so good was the general service - the two adjacent tables turned over not once but twice while we were there and our waitperson never came back until the end, end. What saved the day besides good company was the room - just a lovely Saturday lunch site in the sun. Food, below OK, Room, top of the line. Service - back to wait school guys. Tab for three $36 with the soup knocked off.
in my humble opinion, Lilly's is by far the worst restaurant in venice. the bread is plastic like and terrible, nearly every dishes feels like it's been put together with leftovers from ralph's and barely heated up in a microwave. i used to like, if not love, this place. now i hope they go out of business.