Lulu California Bistro Boasts a Tasty Rotating Menu Including this Florence Inspired Dish
Written By: Quintan Valles Lulu California Bistro
Photographed By: Bianca Simonian
Sunny Palm Springs is known for its blend of modern culture with vintage California vibes. On the bustling corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Arenas Road sits Lulu California Bistro, a place that not only captures the unique essence of Palm Springs, but also seems to have written the book on California chic. Set like a white pearl with pastel colored accents, Lulu’s curb appeal is a visual testament to the fanciful yet elegant vibe that is experienced within its walls.
The open interior of Lulu is filled with the hum of guests’ lively chatter underneath the rich, nostalgia inducing voices of Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles playing overhead. But what makes Lulu special is not just the fresh décor of shimmering chandeliers and pearlescent tiled walls, but the fresh and decadent meals being created by Executive Chef Arturo Casillas and his highly skilled crew.
One customer favorite has captured our attention for reasons that become evident after taking the first tender bite. That flavorful favorite is the Chicken Florentine. This classic dish has been mastered by Lulu thanks to the artisanal mind of Chef Arturo and the amount of finesse he applies to all his cooking endeavors.
Made with a sumptuous combination of chicken breast, spinach, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, goat cheese, salt and pepper, the Chicken Florentine is a culinary adventure from start to finish. With a calm and deliberate dexterity, Chef Arturo butterflies the chicken breast, seasons it with salt and pepper then stuffs it with a spinach mix that includes mushrooms, Julienne sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. He then ties a butcher’s string around the chicken breast to keep all the goodies inside and carries it like a carefully wrapped present over to the stove to be sautéed.
Once the meal is plated, Chef Arturo adds beautifully blanched veggies and a dollop of cloud-like mashed potatoes on the side to create a crunchy element with a hearty, satisfying starch. Each savory bite is filled with notes of sautéed mushrooms and the perfectly seasoned chicken breast is unbelievably tender. The flavors are so complex you may find yourself slowing down to appreciate the flavorful nuances found in the fresh and earthy qualities of the spinach punctuated by a spark of bright acidity from the sun dried tomatoes. The sharpness of the goat cheese is complemented by subtle vegetal flavors provided by the blanched broccoli and carrots. When the elements are forked together, they create a full range of textures that are as complex as the flavors.
Q&A With Executive Chef Arturo Casillas
Q: What makes your restaurant stand apart from others in Palm Springs?
Arturo Casillas: We have a huge menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we make everything from scratch. From the desserts to the dressings, we make everything here fresh every day. We get fresh produce, fish, and meat delivered to us six to seven days a week with much of the produce coming from local farms in the Coachella Valley.
Q: What brought you to Palm Springs?
AC: I came here from Mexico in 1987 and started as a dishwasher at a very good restaurant. I learned to cook from some very good chefs and Jerry gave me the opportunity to be a chef here at Lulu. To date, I’ve been working 17 years for Jerry and Barbara Keller.
Q: Do you have any other interests or hobbies aside from cooking?
AC: Yes, I love to play soccer with my sons! I also like to try other restaurants on my days off to see what other people are doing and how we can improve.
Q: Tell us about some of your favorite menu items. What would be an ideal meal for a first time visitor?
AC: The prime rib and the barbecue ribs are the best. They are great pieces of meat and I really like their flavor. It’s my own recipe, they are sweet, but not too sweet, and after they are cooked, you don’t even need a knife. Start that with the Oysters Rockefeller made with spinach, garlic butter, and breadcrumbs, then finish with the Flourless Triple Chocolate Cake. The chocolate cake is one of the most popular desserts and it’s one of my personal favorites.
Q: What new and exciting menu items can we expect to see in Lulu’s future?
AC: You’re going to see a California Eggs Benedict and a Lobster Eggs Benedict. We are also working on some other new items. We change the menu for each new season, but it is hard to take some items out because they’re so popular!
Fan Favorite: Customers rave about the Flourless Triple Chocolate Cake, so don’t worry, it won’t be one of the rotating menu items anytime soon.
Be on the Lookout: California Eggs Benedict and a Lobster Eggs Benedict are coming soon to the menu!
Lulu California Bistro
200 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Want a Bite of this Chicken Florentine?