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South O.C. Says "Je t'aime" to Lulu's Under $8 French Eats
by: Michael Varma
The Irish crêpe is a favorite among Lulu's diners.
The Irish crêpe is a favorite among Lulu's diners.

Have a Lulu's Crêperie Café experience that is extraordinary! A cheery "Bon Jour" attitude exists in a "home away from home" atmosphere only surpassed by the decadent meals – served by Lulu herself.

Tolled as the 2009 “Hidden Gem” by the OC Register, Lulu’s bright and cozy French venue, on the outskirts of Mission Viejo, is constantly packed with patrons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rightfully so, because the house specialty, crepes of course, are prepared to perfection – or at least I assume so because every plate removed from the surrounding tables were 100% empty. Instead of fru-fru pretentious drizzling of sauces, liberal scrumptious rich and cream sauces cover your off-the-menu selection or custom crepe orders.

La Zorba is a divine savory crepe filled with spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese in a vegetable sauce – available for lunch or dinner ($7.95/$8.95). More than a dozen other options are available to split with a dining companion for $2.50, add soup du jour or mixed green salad for $4.00, or the fabulous and authentic French onion soup for $5.00.

Select from nearly two dozen heavenly crepes for the sweet tooth and all for a reasonable $8.95 or less. Pear Belle Helene (poached pears flambé in brandy topped with chocolate sauce) and Irish (chocolate, bananas, and Bailey's Irish Cream topped with fresh strawberries) crepes are two of the more popular items on the menu.

Traditional American breakfast fare is available with Lulu’s flair and hearty portions. The three large egg omelette will dominate the plate with just enough room for sides of toast or muffin and potatoes or fruit. Or if a Southern morning meal is more your style try the La Louisiana Omelette that kicks it up a notch with delightfully perky spices on the shrimp, Andouille sausage, chicken, onions and tomatoes. Enjoy a cup of coffee with a strong roast that puts Starbucks to shame – viva la France ala South Orange County!

Breakfast and lunches average $8 to 10 per person and dinners about $15 to $20 per person. I know I’ll be back to try the Belgium waffles, pancakes, and Pain Perdu (baguette French toast with powdered sugar and syrup).

Live entertainment every day. Jazz Vocalist Moqui Lund sings her sweet and sultry tunes Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 11 am to 2 pm. Violinist Valerie Geller is first chair violinist for several Southern California orchestras and featured soloist for many national touring Broadway musicals (Annie, Chicago and Peter Pan) and performs at Lulu’s Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m.

Michael’s Meal Deal

Prix Fixe dinners advertised on the website - reservations required. OC Restaurant Week is February 28 - March 6, 2010; three course lunch is $10 (Tues - Sun, 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.); four course dinners is $20 (Tues - Sun, 5 - 9 p.m.)

Lunch (3 course) Prix Fixe $10: Starter (served with French Baguette) includes choice of: Soup du Jour, Organic Mesclun Salad, Caesar Salad. Entrées includes choice of: Any Lunch Crepe, French Dip Sandwich with fresh fruit cup, Lulu's Quiche with fresh fruit cup, Apple-Walnut Salad with Chicken. Dessert includes choice of: Apple Tart, Red Velvet Cupcake, Strawberry Nutella Crepe.

Dinner (4 course) Prix Fixe $20: Starter includes choice of: Brie & Fruit Plate, Pâte & Crudité, or Smoked Salmon Appetizer. Soup or Salad (served with French Baguette) includes choice of: Organic Mixed Green Citrus Salad, Lobster Bisque, or Soupe au Pistou. Entrées includes choice of: Braised Lamb Shank served with mashed potatoes and haricot vert, Breast of Duck a l'Orange served with mashed potatoes and haricot vert, Osso Bucco served on a bed of Pasta, Poached Salmon in a Lemon-Dill Sauce served with rice pilaf and haricot vert, or Crêpe La Mer served with a side of haricot vert. Dessert includes choice of: Chocolate Ganache Cake, Apple Tart Tatin, Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée, or Strawberry Nutella Crepe.

 949.855.222 | 24781 Alicia Pkwy, Suite E., Laguna Hills, CA 92653 | 

Michael Varma is a freelance writer, professional magician for more than 20 years, and an award-winning distinguished Toastmaster and knows what it takes to entertain an audience. Varma is a published author of educational puzzle books and games and frequently performs at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Calif.

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