LuLu Craft Bar + Kitchen: Farm to Table in Washington State

It’s all about freshness – From Farm to Table – at Lu Lu Craft Bar + Kitchen, a Richland restaurant on the beautiful Columbia River in southeastern Washington State. 

The Easterday family owns and runs LuLu’s. The family has been farming and ranching in the Columbia River Basin since 1958 and has a simple philosophy they live by. “Raise crops and animals with care and respect and tend gently to the soil that sustains it all.” Whether it’s family raised beef and pork, onions and potatoes grown on the family farm, or other fresh produce grown by friends and local farmers, Lu Lu is proud to live and work by that simple philosophy.

Location: 606 Columbia Point Drive, Richland, Washington. Lu Lu is directly on the Columbia River just minutes from Highway 82.

Menu: With everything prepared daily from scratch, Lu Lu offers a wide range of burgers, steaks, pasta, salads, and other fresh dishes. Well-known for their beef grown on the family ranch, they offer a great selection of Plancha Grilled Steaks and a flavorful line-up of juicy burgers. They also have an innovative menu featuring an assortment of salads, small plates, and other dishes.

For drinks, Lu Lu has 12 beers on tap and over 80 local wines and signature barrel-aged martinis. It’s a great place to grab a drink and relax with family and friends.

One of the favorites at this Richland restaurant is the Ahi Tuna Burger, with smashed avocado, sprouts, pickled ginger, and wasabi aioli. Another favorite is the Thai Steak and Noodle Salad. This oriental dish is a delicious concoction made with sirloin steak, Napa cabbage, spring greens, red bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, scallions, Asian noodles, basil, cilantro, Thai vinaigrette, and peanut sauce.

Thoughts: It was a beautiful sunny day as we relaxed on the large outdoor patio, with inviting views of the Columbia River and the scenic countryside. The Richland restaurant and bar has a comfortable, homey atmosphere, perfect for having drinks and dinner with family and friends.

The concept of caring and sharing is further displayed on their website, where they share free tasty ideas from creative minds at the restaurant and from around the world. Whether it’s creating a barrel-aged Manhattan, researching if bacon can prolong your life, or getting cooking tips from Gordon Ramsay, the sharing of ideas is one more way Lu Lu makes it evident that their passion for creating a unique dining experience is one they take seriously.

The people are friendly and the atmosphere is casual and fun. Even a look at their creative menu is fun, with some very creative and imaginative dishes to try. Examples include the Tempura Fried Avocado Taco and the Triple Chocolate Tiger Cake with white chocolate ganache. Another innovative dish is the very popular Lu Lu White, a salad featuring fennel, Belgian endive, and hazelnuts.

The attractive modern décor is contemporary while also showing a rustic side. For example, there is a lot of exposed wood grain with neutral and earth tone colors, with hints of pastels scattered about. There are large comfortable seating areas at the bar and at the indoor tables. In addition, what I really loved was the huge outdoor seating area with fantastic views of the Columbia River. On this perfect June day – 75 degrees with a light breeze – the outdoor setting enhanced the conversation and flavors of the food.

I ordered the fish and chips for my lunch, which was delicious. Meanwhile, I also had my eye on the innovative Tempura Fried Avocado Taco. Unfortunately, I’ll have to return to Lu Lu to try that one. Several people raved about the Lu Lu White, an excellent choice when eating healthy is high on your list.

In our little group of six, one lady ordered the NOT YOUR MOTHER’S MARY. Like its name indicated, NYMM is a fun drink. This take on a Bloody Mary consisted of Absolut Peppar vodka, LU LU mary mix, pig candy, pickled asparagus, celery, lime, cherry tomato, and a pimento-stuffed olive. I think it could have been a meal by itself!

The combination of a fun atmosphere, friendly folks, and innovative food in a scenic setting makes time at this Richland restaurant time well spent.

Prices: Starters are $8 – $12, Mains are $14 – $20, and their special Plancha Grilled Steaks range from $24 – $36.

Disclosure: The author was hosted by Lu Lu for a complimentary lunch.

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