Lalime's

4.2
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2779 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Since 1985, Lalime’s has been a family run culinary homestead championing locally sourced, organic, sustainable ingredients. It’s a gathering spot where we've seen our community celebrate their successes and family milestones. It's where we have been blessed with loyal staff who maintain the standards of service that are the true bread and butter of any neighborhood venue. And it’s a special place where we have been able to drawing a connecting line between the classic dishes of our ancestors and the contemporary tastes of our Northern California home. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
What 2779 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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h
Phoenix
9 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience4

The food here used to be wonderful. No more. Our meal wasn't exactly terrible, but disappointing. If my wife and I spend $40 or $50 on the same meal at a neighborhood place, we'd say the food was fine -- not great, not terrible. But at $200, it seems offensive. The ambience at Lamine's remains pleasant. But unless we hear there's been a significant turnaround in meal quality, we won't be back

f
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My partner and I, along with another couple, opted tor Lalime's special (and very festive) Valentine's pris fixe dinner. It turned out to be a very special treat for the four of us, even at the higher than usual price of $75 per person for amuse bouche, a starter, a salad a main, and a VERY LARGE shared dessert (1 per couple). The amuse bouche was a nicely seasoned Middle Eastern vegetarian frittata that we never got the name for. All 4 of us chose the lobster ravioli in bisque sauce instead of the cauliflower-brussel sprouts-lent koufté; really well-crafted! On the mains, we split on the sea bass (highly rated by those who selected it) and the grilled rib-eye, which I opted for. I seldom eat meat but this was grilled to perfection with a nice mushroom, garlic, and thyme reduction). Dessert was--are you ready--an almond chocolate tart with poached pear, lemon pudding, berry coulis, and quince sauce. Almost a smorgasbord in itself and more than enough for two to share. We found a great Rutherford (Napa County) Cabernet blend (Quantum Vineyard) with lots of oomph to round out a delightful gastronomic Valentine's dinner. Can't wait till next year! Once again, Lalime's proves it is among the best of the East Bay restaurants.

B
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Always enjoy Lalime's
Long time special occasion favorite

j
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

An off night at Lalime’s for fixed price Valentines dinner

PM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and a creative menu. Saffron and mussel soup was especially good; a fettuccini with cauliflower was not so great. The space is unique and endearing.

PM
New England
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

The cocktails, appetizers, entrees and desserts were delicious. (I had the chicken -- it was cooked to perfection and the dipping sauces were all different and flavorful.) The chocolate lava cake might be the very best I've ever had. It was lighter than many, and crunchy on the outside and soft and very chocolaty on the inside. The servers were nice and helpful, and the dining room is warm and intimate. The only reason for my lower rating on the service was that it was slow, and it was a bit difficult to get the server's attention. We weren't in a rush, so all in all, it was an excellent experience and I would highly recommend Lalime's.

RC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was great! Price was amazing for how nice the food was. Service was a little slow, but worth the wait. Super busy when we got there...they turned away people because they didnt have reservations. Went there for an anniversary dinner and had a GREAT time.

c
New York Area
107 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Excellent food, but service was spotty. We waited too long before any waiter came to the table. Then once we ordered food, things came timely but waiter never brought us the bread we said yes we wanted? And, oops, a maitre 'd took my card off the table a 2nd time before I had a chance to sign the check already delivered by the waiter. All that said, I would eat here again in a heartbeat.

L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time there and we all really enjoyed it!

HS
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I appreciate the lack of pressure to eat and run. Our waitress was extremely competent and let us take our time to enjoy the food and the company.

AB
San Francisco
99 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Sunday brunch omelette was really good - I go now & then and usually the omelettes are serviceable, but this was quite good. Only wish they had gluten free bread.

b
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for brunch and received excellent service - we needed a table with no steps. All the dishes were delicious. Service was reasonably quick and unobtrusive. Lalime's is a neighborhood restaurant, and one we particularly enjoy. We liked the variety of items offered for brunch.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience3

I used to love this restaurant years ago but it has gone WAY downhill and I will never go back. The service was poor and the food was awful. I literally sent some food back for being inedible. The food that was edible was just OK - certainly not worth the money. Nothing special - I cook better food at home.
I dine out often and don’t mind paying for great food but this was dismal (I mean, there wasn’t even salt on the food which the waitress said they did on purpose?!)
The place was full and I can’t imagine why. There are so many wonderful places to eat in the Bay Area - I’m not sure how they stay open. Save your money and pick anywhere else.

AD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Used to love this place and have gone there for many years. It’s really gone downhill. Bad service, ok food but overpriced.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server Adrian was personable and knowledgeable, fantastic!

c
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

It was so noisy that we couldnt hear each other and the service was only average.

D
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was attentive without hovering or being intrusive, and his advice about selections was welcome and accurate. The food was delicious, although the portions were a bit on the small side. The area of our table was a little crowded, making conversation difficult when the other tables in that area were occupied, and we had to move the table in order to be seated.

C
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This little hidden gem in the neighborhood is a very pleasant surprise. From the upstairs entrance to the cozy bar and the downstairs tables, it speaks of romance. The smells are wonderful, the noise level minimal, and the service excellent. We had a nice variety from the menu that included lobster ravioli with a too die for sauce and just the right size for a rich dish. We quizzed our waiter about the round perfectly cooked whole Brussels about how they get it fully cooked but not burnt on the outside or mushy on the inside. Ask them.

G
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I have been a steady customer since Lalime's first opened on Solano Avenue some 40 years ago.
It was excellent then and has improved ever since .
The menu varied and changes periodically. I am a happy vegetarian and my wife an most guests are definitely not vegetarians and just as pleased as I am. Every dish is apparently prepared from scratch
judging from its freshness and quality.
In addition, pricing compared to that of the few EB of comparative quality is astoundingly modest.

S
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

A sold meh... Nothing special about the food. If I was a math teacher, I'd give it a B-. My friend had the burger which was OK. I had the sea bass which was ok, too. One positive note, the food wasn't too salty as it often is at other Berkeley restaurants. But it didn't overwhelm either.

FF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience4

I believe the pasta dish I ordered is the worst I have ever had. It was really watery, contained mushy, wet cauliflower and greens, with no evidence of the lemon and basil advertised. The fried cauliflower was really greasy, - as in sitting in grease when served. Almost everything needed salt. I could go on.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience3

We’ve dined several times at LaLime’s over the years and they’ve clearly taken a big step in the wrong direction. All of our dishes were lacking taste and execution. Deep fried Brussels sprouts were mushy. Fettuccine pasta was completely without flavor. Stuffed vegetables was just not good. We did have a round of cocktails which was fine but the food was terrible. Waiter must have noticed our displeasure but he didn’t make an effort to fix.

DN
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lalime's is never disappointing! We ordered a dessert we didn't like and they replaced it for free with one we loved!

SL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Lalime's had the air of a restaurant that was probably a bit of a neighborhood gem 10 years ago, but now feels past its hay day. The staff were slow and not that attentive, and the host (who ironically had an old review in the bathroom about him being the new maitre de, bringing back personalized service and revitalizing the restaurant) was inattentive, did not smile, or even make eye contact with me.
The food was good, but not great, and the portions were small and overpriced for what they were. The eye fillet was not best cut I've had and was a little chewy and gristly in parts.
All in all, not worth the money we ended up spending.

S
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience4

Terrible service started with the Lack Of a host who came across is very rude and arrogant. Our waiter was also a bit dismissive and uninterested in providing good service.
I have been coming here for over 25 years and won’t be back.
Shameful.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delightful!! No complaints at all. Loved it!

MP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hadn't been here in a while, came for celebratory birthday for my wife. Food was as remembered, excellent at reasonable prices, and service was outstanding, relaxed, and congenial. I won't wait as long to return!

F
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Too loud to carry on a group conversation. Wait staff asked how the food was but ignored whether our water needed to be refilled, etc. (Inattentive wait staff.) Food was mediocre and rather predictable. We have been celebrating my father’s birthday at Lalime’s every year in January for fifteen years. Never an acknowledgement that we have been there before.)

K
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Haven't been in awhile and was not disappointed when I returned for brunch. Introduced my friend to the restaurant and she would like to return for dinner. Food was great as was the service. Will be back.

OT
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The deviled eggs with salmon caviar are as good as ever!

PM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall1food1service4ambience1

I don't often review restaurants and I do not like to post negative reviews, but I need to let others know about our experience at Lalime's. Recommended by a friend who said she had two delicious brunches at this venue, we decided to try it for dinner. The cocktails and wine were lovely but the party ended there. In response to one of our group with a garlic allergy, the chef was absolutely uncreative, despite our sweet waitress's best effort to accommodate. Every dish was a disaster, including a watery camaroni pasta; "seafood" stew that amounted to big chucks of potato and carrot in a fish broth, topped with three clams ($29); and a hamburger, ordered medium, that arrived well done on an outsized bun and accompanied by cold french fries. Perhaps worst of all, the room was so cold that we were all wearing our coats and still shivering. With all the wonderful restaurant options Berkeley has to offer, avoid this one!

B
San Francisco
141 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We received excellent service from our waitress, who is from Bulgaria. She was friendly, helpful and kept checking with us to make sure everything was just right. My husband had the pasta with the lobster sauce and he said it was delicious. I had the vegetarian pasta and it was not very tasty; the ingredients were fresh but the whole dish lacked flavor. We shared the fresh-baked chocolate cake for my husband's birthday dessert and that was very special. We had fun with the candle that would not go out even when we blew on it!

TC
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I discovered tha

A
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

I was hoping for much more from Lalime's. The service was friendly and prompt. However the dining room was cramped with diners coming and going constantly bumping tables and chairs and the food was far from exceptional. I had a winter root vegetable soup and a garlic coulliflower pasta, both were unbalanced and lacked a depth of flavor. For the price and the crowd I was disappointed.

S
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience4

We have been dining at Lalime’s for over two years. Each meal a delight, as well as the staff. We always dine at the bar where Stacy is so hospitable.

But this time we couldn’t help but notice that clearly the restaurant, or the chef, was cutting back. We always get the eggs with salmon as an appetizer. This time only the smallest, thinnest piece of salmon. Even Stacy noticed and mentioned it.
Then we had the lamb kebab. But wait — where WAS the kebab? We only had a mound of lettuce and a bit of kebab underneath. We were told they measure the meat by weight. Really? It looked nothing like the hearty meal we normally get.
And it wasn’t just that night. Christmas Eve we had the most ridiculous prix fixe: celery twice in the menu (why?), potato’s duchesse that we’re basically boiled, mashed potatoes, grey, overcooked Brussels sprouts, and a terrible roast meat that was tasteless and sinewy. Add a dessert that was both cold and tepid and you have a singularly unmemorable meal.
Honestly, Lalime’s was my go-to. Like a Zuni. It has descended into a lackluster, cheap dining offering that makes me wonder if I was dreaming last year. Lalime’s: get it together. Those old Berkeley loyalists won’t live forever.

TD
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

New Year 2020 was our first visit to Lalime's, which was a crazy busy day apparently, so our expereince may not be representative of Lalime's, in general. Also, people with earlier reservations may have had a better food experience than we had.

We arrived for a 10 pm reservation, after my own work shift, with intention to ring in the New Year. Based on Open Table ratings, I had great expectations! The prix fix menu also was similar to the menu offered at one of our favorite bistros in Napa, so I imagined the food of a Napa bistro served closer to home.

Overall, we still had an enjoyable evening due to the ambience and special attention of our server, rather the food. We were placed in a private dining area with one other couple, quiet (as fits our style!) and personably festive.

Long story short, our second course was signifcantly delayed due to a large table elsewhere, which put the whole rhythm of our meal out of wack. The wine for the salad arrived and quite some time later the main dishes (which looked lovely) were brought instead of the salads. Main dishes sent back since wrong wine on the table. Salads looked thrown together and mine had no persimmon. Mains came back, but this time thrown together, with bones and not much meat. Tail end, I guess. Brussel sprouts mushy. Cheese course missing one of the cheeses and no quince (ran out). Dessert was lovely as the waiter secured ours from the kitchen while we were still eating our Main, to make sure we weren't left out at the end.

The cabernet enhanced the prime rib, and the dessert sherry delicious, but none of the other wines were a memorable match to their course.

I assume many people without reservations arrived early during the "rush." But, we did have a reservation, and we paid more than $400 for a meal that was incomplete and not presented well.

We'll try Lalime's on a regular night to see why it gets such good ratings. Reluctant to do a prix fix meal with them, again.

w
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We have always enjoyed Lalime's. The setting and ambiance were enjoyable as always but the food this year was only good. We ate late on New Year's Eve. The prix fixe entrees had obviously been prepared much earlier in the evening and had, by the time we ate, been sitting the warming oven for too long. The cocktails and appetizers were quite good, the desserts were nice but not special.

KM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our fixed-price New Years Eve dinner started out with several "wow" dishes and tastes, among which the creamed eggs with salmon row was a definite standout. The lobster ravioli dish was hard to improve upon, matching well with a bottle of reasonably priced Sancerre. Slipping down a notch in quality, the dinner rolls were a tad crusty and hard to cut, and the main dishes were well prepared, but somewhat uninspired, compared to what had preceded them. For our taste, the pears in the dessert were slightly underripe (or undercooked) , but the free glass of champagne at midnight was a welcome touch. As usual, the service was attentive, and every effort was made to please the patrons, who appeared to be mostly a sophisticated set of local residents. The wine list was eclectic and seemed well chosen to accompany ad showcase the dishes on the menu. This restaurant continues to be a beacon in the East Bay, well deserving its loyal following.

MC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Lalimes could not handle the crowd seated mostly at the same time. No one attended to us for at least 15 minutes after we wee seated. We had to remind our server twice what course we were on. The duck was tough, though it was not over cooked. The prime rib was a generous portion, well prepared, though presented looking sloppy, there was more food than could reasonably sit on the plate. In short, their planning for New Year's Eve dinner was inadequate. I would still recommend Lalime's for dinner on a normal. less busy night.

E
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

No vegetables with meal. Rib eye steak okay but chanterelles cooked with cinnamon not palatable. Fish stew was mediocre. Sea bass was fine but would have been better with vegetables. Wines were disappointing. Plum pudding was good.

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