Best Lulu’s restaurant near your vacation destination? The menu is designed, in part, by the legendary Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley (although the kitchen is led by Bay Area cookbook author David Tanis). Which explains the seasonally rotating menu, words like “regenerative food sourcing” and “organic agriculture” that pop up on their website, and the overall focus on California cuisine. Although there are prix-fixe menus at both lunch and dinner, we prefer to use Lulu as a snack break, a nice place to eat Weiser Farm melons draped in prosciutto, handfuls of toasted almonds, or a big ol’ hunk of parmesan cheese. Because while larger dishes, like rigatoni and squash blossoms or a steak brushed with tomato-y Romesco sauce, aren’t bad, they can be a bit snoozy. Read additional details at Lulus nearby.
Simple and clean, the restaurant feels distinctly autumnal, with assorted fall fruits including persimmons and plums adorning a large family size table at the entrance. With baskets scattered as if laid out for a Thanksgiving meal, the decoration presents a lived-in ambiance. Also entirely open air, the space has outdoor seating and a hybrid, roof-covered area closer to the bar. The construction feels as natural as the food, with the organic layout allowing the crisp air to waft in.
Those seeking a raucous time may like to drop by Jumbo’s Clown Room. This small, red-and-black bar has been around since the ’70s and has become something of a Los Angeles institution. These days, it’s famous as a bikini bar, with talented dancers and contortionists conquering the stage nightly. Performers choose songs on an old jukebox, with song selections including metal, ’90s alt-rock, and ’70s and ’80s throwbacks. Guests may not take pictures, and tips for dancers are expected. It’s hard to explain what the Museum of Jurassic Technology is exactly. It isn’t organized in any logical way, and some of the information may not be entirely true. Yet it’s one of the most fascinating museums in LA, containing a surreal assemblage of seemingly unrelated objects. There is a collection of very, very tiny sculptures, each made from a strand of hair; a room full of letters sent to the Mount Wilson Observatory; a gallery consisting solely of paintings of dogs who were involved in the Soviet Space Program; decaying dice from magician Ricky Jay; and a Russian tea room where human guests share the space with unusually tame birds.
The Balboa Fun Zone is a family destination located on East Bay Avenue on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Built in 1936 by Al Anderson, the attraction began with a small beach and a Ferris Wheel. The area was rebuilt in 1986 but went into decline until a new owner began reviving the Fun Zone in 1994. Today the area includes Balboa Village with its beach, boardwalks, hotel, restaurants and shops. Amusement rides include an 18 foot tall bungee ride called Ocean Motion, the Ferris Wheel, Fish Pipe, Burt the Bull Shark, and many others. Other attractions include the historic 1905 Balboa Pavilion, arcades, harbor cruises, and more.
But by following the pomegranates, diners won’t be disappointed. The autumnal fruit threaded across the menu, appearing on both menus in a salad, atop a dessert and as a drink. Not bogged down by sugar like typical soft drinks, the fruit soda was refreshing and its flavor clear. Despite its $8 price, the deeply pigmented drink is as beautiful as it is the perfect companion for the menu. For a selection dotted with wild mushrooms and prosciutto that averages at about $15 per item, Lulu’s pricing does do an exceptional job at making organic, sustainable food accessible. Offering an additional 10% student discount on their prix fixe, the restaurant still aligns with the Hammer’s principle of serving UCLA as well as the diverse demographics of greater Los Angeles but could easily feel too elevated and ward off visitors. Within museum walls, Lulu strives to be a model for food’s future, supporting local farmers and offering familiar food. Read even more information at lulusoceansidegrill.com.