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Incredibly disappointing because I remember when LaLime's was a great restaurant, in the 80s. I had a rack of lamb and my wife had sea bass and in both cases, the portions were skimpy. Which might have been a blessing because my lamb was a poor cut, about 1/3 fat, served as a series of six one-bite medallions accompanied by a charred rack with almost no meat to gnaw on. My wife had a just-OK sea bass in a sloppy bed of badly overcooked carrots. Dessert was an apple galette that tasted ok, but had sat on a plate too long; the crust was soggy. The wine was good, the one bright (or at least, not dim) moment in the meal. Our waitress was earnest but unaware the basic tenants of the job, such as taking the lady's order first. All this, plus an OK caesar salad to start, came to $140, including tip. All in all, a sad night. Goodbye, LaLime's, that's it for us.
Delightful food in a very nice casual atmosphere with charming service.
While the food was outstanding we felt that for the money we did not get a fair portion. The service wa fabulous and bus boys ere spot on to clear table. Was disappointed that we could not get a bottle of wine and had to purchase by the glass.
There were five of us. For two people the food was so bad they ate less than half of it - And the portions were small. My meal was halibut in a broth with vegetables. The vegetables were so overcooked and soft that they had no texture and absolutely no flavor at all. I can’t remember having such a flavorless meal in my life. The halibut was also flavorless. The other two meals were just so so. For dessert the lava cake with vanilla ice cream was good. I also ordered ice cream with raspberries but there were no raspberries just an overly sweet syrup. We plan to never go back there again even though the service was good.
We returned to Lalime's after many years away. It was no fault of theirs: life, kids and distance got in the way. It remains as lovely as ever. It has a relaxing atmosphere, knowledgeable servers, delicious, flavorful and beautifully presented food.
We split the osso bucco on polenta, a mushroom stuffed pepper vegan dish, a lovely winter friseé salad. They all were flavorful and delicious.
They have a very interesting, varied selection of wines to pair with the Mediterranean flavors. Wine service was very accommodating. Our server wasn't expert about the flavor profiles of the two wines we were interested in so she brought us samples of both. It's so nice when they do that!
It's a drive for us to go to Berkeley, but we'll be back more often. It's definitely worth the trip.
The gentleman hosting was very abrasive and unfriendly
Expertly cooked food. High-quality ingredients. Delicious house-made flatbread and freshly squeezed orange juice. Our Saturday brunches have been such a pleasure at Lalime’s.
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
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.
Always enjoy Lalime's
Long time special occasion favorite
An off night at Lalime’s for fixed price Valentines dinner
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.
I've been to Lalime's a number of times over the years, for quiet, intimate dinners and for large parties of ~10 people. Always, it has been excellent. Lalime's has always been the place I recommend to people who will be in Berkeley.
No longer. This was an entirely disappointing meal. One pasta dish seemed be simply boiled pasta with boiled cauliflower and some boiled green. It was flavorless and so unappetizing we sent it back. The other two dishes were treated as open-faced wraps. Which is fine, except I'd like to feel like I'm not overpaying for something I could find at a takeout cart.
Additionally, we ordered a cauliflower appetizer. It was good. Except, the very same cauliflower was the included garnish/side on both of the main 'wraps' that two of our three people ordered. A good waiter would have noted this, just in case we wanted to order a different appetizer.
Altogether, this trip to Lalime's was a waste, and I won't be venturing back anytime soon.
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.
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.
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.
It was our first time there and we all really enjoyed it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Used to love this place and have gone there for many years. It’s really gone downhill. Bad service, ok food but overpriced.
Our server Adrian was personable and knowledgeable, fantastic!
It was so noisy that we couldnt hear each other and the service was only average.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lalime's is never disappointing! We ordered a dessert we didn't like and they replaced it for free with one we loved!
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.
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.
Delightful!! No complaints at all. Loved it!
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!
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.)
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.
The deviled eggs with salmon caviar are as good as ever!
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!
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!