Bar/Restaurant: LULU California Bistro
Area: Heart of Downtown Palm Springs
Typa Joint: California Bistro
Signature Cocktail: I can’t even repeat it here
LULU (why are you shouting?) California Bistro occupies some prime real estate in downtown Palm Springs. It sits in the heart of the village, in the middle of it all, across from the Village Green. Streams of people go in and out. The outside patio to see and be seen, multiple levels, white horseshoe booths, bright colors, chandeliers and glass, make it pretty to look at, but I generally avoid any restaurant with the words “California” and “Bistro” in its title. Also, let’s not get cute with the capitalization, okay? The restaurant is self-described on its website as ” The Hippest restaurant in Palm Springs.” Oh, darlings. Don’t you know it’s no longer hip to be hip?
I must admit my review is for cocktails only. I had already been warned off by one Palm Spring resident that the food was not good. Interestingly, another resident told me the food was great. So there you have it. LULU is like Winston Churchhill’s description of Russia: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. And hip.
I met a friend at LuLu on a Friday night; I heard they were serving a specialty cocktail in honor of Sinatra’s 100th birthday month. The bartender searched high and low behind the bar for a book or a flyer or a memo for some sort of recipe, until he threw up his hands and said he could make me what he called “The Sinatra Pom-Pom.”
The Sinatra POM fucking POM? I hated it already. The only thing that made it remotely Sinatra was the Jack Daniels. Then there was pomegranate juice and sparkling water and some sort of other frilly, juicy bullshit that Frank would have hated. I didn’t even finish it, much less take a photo of it.
If you love the place, tell me so. Maybe I was just there on an off night. But I swear I’ll slap the next bartender who tries to pass off any cocktail with pomegranate juice in it as a Sinatra homage.