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Lily Kai Chinese Cuisine

79 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

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With a spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay and city we brought our award winning cuisine from Petaluma to lovely downtown Tiburon. Come savor our dishes that won Best of Petaluma 6 years in a row and afterwards take a scenic waterfront walk; with a view spanning from the financial district to the Palace of Fine Arts and beyond to the Golden Gate Bridge. Make your reservation today to get the best available table for your dining pleasure.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Daily 11:00am-3:30pm
Dinner: M-Sa 3:30pm-9:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 789-5667
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Cross street
Paradise Dr.
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Parking details
Free validated parking in our spacious private lot.
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 79 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3  based on all time ratings
Noise · Quiet
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on September 30, 2017

Watch out for this place!!! Lily Kai engages in deceptive and deceitful business practices. The staff presents you with a "lunch menu" with a lower set of prices and then deceptively lures you into ordering "a la carte" which is, in fact, the "dinner menu" with a much higher set of prices. I was pointing to the lunch menu when I ordered. However, when the bill arrived, I was charged prices that were double. When I questioned the bill and explained the confusion, I was treated to a rude outburst by the unprofessional staff. Only then, and after I demanded to see it, did they show me the "a la carte dinner menu". My question to Lily Kai is why didn't you present me with this additional menu option upfront by giving me the actual menu? This is a restaurant that thinks they can take advantage of the people in Tiburon simply because they have money. Guess what? These people deserve respect too and are too intelligent to put up with being treated in such a horrible and disrespectful manner. I will never return to Lily Kai again and hope they go out of business soon, so that they can be replaced by restaurants like Servino, Salt and Pepper, and Trattoria Don Antonio, places that know how to treat their customers with the respect they deserve. I only wish I could rate this place lower. One star is one too much for what I endured during my recent lunch at Lily Kai.

vipAmyH (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on May 3, 2017

Best Chinese food in Marin County and with a spectacular view of San Francisco

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

Wonderful food, nice atmosphere and view ♡

marty (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on March 31, 2017

Having dinner at Lily Kai was like going back to the Fifties and the Chinese dinners I used to have with my parents. We ordered fried squid as an appetizer, and enjoyed the fresh, crunchy bits. Salad appeared on the plate, but no sauce to dip the squid. Then we had sweet and sour pork, which we shouldn't have had because it was fried also. The server didn't alert us to this. We enjoyed the view and the setting, as well as the entertainment of seeing the ferry dock and unload commuters. We wondered if the restaurant would survive if in another location with a less spectacular view.

vipBill (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on March 18, 2017

Excellent food and service.

vipElizabethB (Jacksonville)
4.0  Dined on February 23, 2017

The wonton and hot and sour soups were excellent values, providing several cups per bowl ordered. My Mu Shu pork was the best I had anywhere and my 3 companions were pleased with their selections (Hunan chicken, chicken with cashews). Service was friendly and efficient.

MarinDiner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 16, 2017

The folks who work at Lily Kai's are friendly, professional, and fun. Our waitress made some good recommendations when we couldn't decided about a couple dishes. We celebrated a friend's birthday and ordered a number of dishes, all of which were perfectly prepared and tasty. We started with the salt and pepper calamari, chicken pot stickers and shrimp dumplings. That was followed by General's chicken, General Tsao's tofu, vegetarian moo-shu, and walnut prawns. That was for four of us and there were leftovers to take home. When they learned we were celebrating a birthday, they put a candle in a bowl of ice cream and the staff sang Happy Birthday. It was a wonderful evening and we all look forward eating at Lily Kai's again and exploring more of the menu.

foodmaven (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 1, 2017

We go to Lily Kai often as it is a very convenient local restaurant. The service is usually good, fast, and food is good. We have several favorite servers, who know us and are always very accommodating. However, there are a few servers who are not particularly friendly, even to the point of being surly. The man we had on New Year's Day for an early dinner was the later. He was abrupt and impatient, although the restaurant was not particularly crowded.
Additionally, I had a coupon for some free items that had been in a mailer. Although no where on the coupon are there any stated restrictions for the use of the coupon (other than certain items are free depending on the overall cost of the meal), this
server would not take the coupon because it was New Year's Day. The coupon doesn't state "not valid on Holidays", nor any other stated restrictions. Therefore, I felt he should have honored the coupon.

We were at Lily Kai recently on May 27, 2017. I don't know if the management has changed, but there was a marked difference in the service, quality of food, and prices of all items. There were only two servers in the whole restaurant, and there were very few tables occupied on what is usually a busy Friday evening. The cost of all items on the menu appear to have been raised considerably and the quality of the food has diminished. The friendly neighborhood feeling of Lily Kai was not apparent either. We have gone to Lily Kai since it opened several times a month and all the servers knew us and greeted us warmly, often asking about a member of the family if that person was not with us that day. This last time there was no greeting and we waited a long time to be served. Despite the convenience of having a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, I can no longer recommend Lily Kai and probably will not go there again.

vipLynn (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2016

We really enjoyed our dinner. The special was basil chicken and prawns, it was wonderful. The service was attentive and friendly. We will definitely be back soon!

foodbuff (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 22, 2016

We were a party of 9 and enjoyed having a round table. The food was very tasty and well prepared. The service was abrupt - almost to the point of rudeness. I don't know whether the restaurant was understaffed and our waiter had too many tables to look after, but the service could definitely have been friendlier.

JamesW (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 17, 2016

Great Chinese restaurant under a pleasant setting, amazing view of the SF Bay and city.

vipTiburonite (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 29, 2016

We came here originally after we saw such great reviews online, Lily Kai is number one Chinese restaurant in the whole of Marin County on Trip advisor. We are so glad to have found out! The reviews are well deserved, everything about this place makes me feel at home. My grandfather was a chef in a Chinese restaurant and I know great authentic food when I taste it. My friends and I are happy to have found such a delicious and healthy spot we can come to often, we are also very impressed how reasonable the prices are. Thank you very much Lily Kai!

PeterD (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on November 19, 2016

My wife and I came here for dinner during a weekend getaway. It was a little pricey for Chinese, but the food was excellent, and as it's served family style there was plenty of it. My wife had the Lover's Prawns (honey walnut prawns + spicy prawns) and said it was very good. She also had the Hot and Sour soup which was excellent. I had Lemon Chicken and Chicken Chow Mein (Hong Kong style). The Lemon Chicken was possibly the best I've ever had - plenty of sauce, the batter was crispy, the chicken tender and juicy. My only complaint is the sauce was bit too sweet. The chow mein was a bit more of a puzzle - it looked like they fried up some crispy noodles then poured a serving of Vegetable Chicken on top. The noodles were too hard and crispy to mix with the wet ingredients sitting on top, making it a bit difficult to eat. I don't get Hong Kong style often, so I can't recall if that's typical. However, after a night in the fridge everything mixed together and the reheated chow mein was delicious. Overall, the food was great and we got enough for two meals.

The restaurant sits next to a water feature right on the shoreline in Tiburon. So looking out the window we could see the water feature, then a road, then the bay, then on to San Francisco itself. A pretty good view.

Service was good, and I didn't feel like we had to wait overly long for anything. Only issue was that my wife ordered the plum wine (name starts with a T) and she was given a different (and more expensive) wine instead (a pinot noir that also started with a T). Not having had a plum wine before, she didn't realize she had the wrong thing until the bill came.

The ambience and decor were pretty typical "basic Chinese restaurant", down to the wooden chairs and paper tablecloths. It was pretty noisy despite not being that crowded, so this is not the place to go for a quiet romantic dinner. For good American-style Chinese food this is a solid choice though.

vipTiburonite (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 14, 2016

Lily Kai is our new favorite restaurant in the Bay Area. The food is always well balanced and cooked to perfection, with fresh ingredients. The staff are highly knowledgeable and have happy personable characteristics. They make us feel that we are a part of their family and it is their pleasure to serve us. I strongly recommend you go there and try the potstickers, dim sum & spicy basil chicken.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 8, 2016

Thank you to the Lily Kai for a great family-style dinner. The food was delicious, hot, timely, and beautifully presented. The wait staff was very attentive - even gave me a taste of their cold sake. The six of us had a very relaxing time and will definitely return.

IKKOAK (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 6, 2016

We ordered 2 dishes. 1 was good one was not. The server was gruff. It is a long drive with long lines of traffic. The dish that we liked was very good but not worth the drive.

Foodlover (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on September 16, 2016

Good Chinese food, excellent service, and a beautiful view. Always consistently good.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 18, 2016

We had a family meal here. Although the food was great, the service was a little rushed and as soon as we ordered two dishes the waiter rushed off before we could order anything more, which seemed strange. However overall we had a good meal and will be back.

vipJloplanry (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 12, 2016

Always the best!!!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 11, 2016

The setting and view in Tiburon were great. The food was very good, but I found the wait staff to be unfriendly and curt. Our waiter had a lot of trouble understanding what we wanted and we had trouble understanding him. Although, the reservation was marked as a birthday, there was no response even though the table next to us was treated with a ice cream and candle at the table.