Etta and I went for the Monday night farm dinner on April 8, 2013. We go for one every half year or so- our last was in the late August sun on the patio. Today’s dinner was on the first Monday that it actually felt like spring with the weather in the sixties. Early spring light streamed into the dining room- we arrived for our 6:30 pm reservation on the heels of a matinee showing of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.
Lula Cafe has an elegance from small details such as the ambient sound system, hand crafted menus, and intensely citrusy woodsy handsoap in the washroom. I ordered a limonata and Etta got Pipeworks’ Flower Child, a tart Berliner style weisse. At four percent alcohol by volume it was a sessionable companion to the farm food, which started with a custard in a small mason jar.
Creamy rich and warm ricotta and duck egg custard concealed white asparagus, morels and lovage, all enhanced with cardamom oil. The couple next to us, advanced in years, were Lula whales, greeted between each course by chefs, management and other servers. They cleaned their plates. Etta couldn’t clean her plate because we’d had greasy gringas al pastor at L’ Patron tacos before the film. The main course was pork shoulder braised with green olives, first of the season ramps, baby turnips, herbed gnocchi, floral lavender aioli, swimming in rich jus. The waiter asked the older couple how they liked their mains- I thought I heard the gentleman, who was midchew, reply, “Edible.” He had said, “Incredible,” but his mouth was full.
Dessert is my favorite part of Lula Cafe and tonight did nothing to change that. Spring ice creams- rhubard sorbet and lime granita, were bright in flavor yet creamy in the mouth. Basil two ways brought tart pops to my tongue, toothsome strawberry mochi was like the best fruit roll up, crumbly streusel balls balanced the sweet of white chocolate with a savory touch of salt.