The wait is over yet the buzz continues. Officially open for mere hours as I write, LULU has already been christened the “sexy Palm Springs sis” of Rancho Mirage’s insanely popular, award-winning Acqua Pazza at the River.
Situated downtown on the enviable corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Arenas Road, the new eatery is in fact a sight to behold. Brilliantly reincarnated by architect David Christian and interior designer Jeffrey Jurasky (with the exquisite assistance of graphic designer Gary Wexler and celebrity photographer Michael Childers), the gargantuan, multi-leveled space is bathed in white, accented with pearlescent tile, and dotted with elegant splashes of bold color. Sexy indeed…
I consider myself so fortunate to have been among the chosen few graciously invited to one of two pre-opening previews. Gregarious owner Jerry Keller and his beautiful wife Barbara tablehopped to welcome family and friends. Executive chef Arturo Casillas and his beloved partner in thyme, the multi-talented Karla, orchestrated the symphony in the kitchen. And crisply uniformed front-of-house staff—servers in tieless white tuxedo shirts and long white aprons; runners, bussers, and bartenders in tight, white tees emblazoned with LULU’s logo—came and went as if celebrating the umpteenth anniversary of the place. All the while, a veritable army of supervisors, led by general manager Willie Rhine, made sure everything was letter perfect.
LULU shares its sibling’s vast breakfast-lunch-and-dinner menu, made famous for its bighearted portions of delectable fare at easy-on-the-pocket prices. With Acqua Pazza breaking its own records year after year, is Lulu’s immediate, raging success anything but a foregone conclusion? Bon appétit, and long live LULU!