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“worth the wait!”
Review of Lillian's Italian Kitchen - MOVED

Lillian's Italian Kitchen
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Lillian's Italian Kitchen opened quietly on July 4, 2007. It's a joint venture of the owners, Joe and Charlotte Moreno and their sons Chris and Matt. Long time residents of Santa Cruz, the Moreno's dream was to open a neighborhood place that was an extension of their family kitchen. The inspiration was Grandma Lilly's wonderful home cooking. Lillian was devoted to family and friends and her life was greatly fulfilled by her love and passion for cooking. Born in Yonkers, New York, Lillian was able to combine traditional Sicilian recipes learned from her parents and the many Italian influences in her neighborhood. Executive Chef Chris honors Lillian's family recipes as well as offering a variety of fresh and creative additions to the menu while Matt makes sure guests feel at home. Good food, good friends, great prices and straight from the heart. Tutti a mangiare!
Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

after waiting 40 minutes at the door and then another 15 minutes at the table........ everything was AMAZING! it was ou second time eating there and it was even better than we imagined! the soup was sooo good and thank god they offered bread because I was starving! the bread comes with whole garlic cloves to crush rally yummy! my pasta with shrimp was excellent and plenty leftovers which will taste great later tonight. my boyfriends ravioli was yummy too!! dessert was great also! the only thing I would complain about was how long it took once we sat down to be helped but it was really busy so no worries!!

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Thank sierra_nicho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (241)
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159 - 163 of 241 reviews

Reviewed May 18, 2013

While visiting Santa Cruz I was taken to this great little place with great Italian food. I had soup - cream of artichoke hearts and asparagus and "Sunday" gravy - a great meat sauce on pasta of your choice. Penne in my case. Extremely reasonable.

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Thank Larry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We went on a weeknight, so avoided some of the long waits other people have experienced, especially on the weekends. We have been twice, once they were taking reservations and once they weren't. So that is a puzzle. But they do take your cell phone number and call when you are up. It can take a long time so if it looks bad you can go to a nearby bar and hang out. Or you can line up before they open. Once you have fought your way in, it is worth it.

They have authentic Italian and since I am Italian, I really appreciate how close they are getting to the smells, taste and ambience of Italian food. We had a seafood with homemade fetuccine and the gnocchi with a black truffle flavor. Both were outstanding. We finished off sharing spumoni ice cream, which was rich and creamy. If they didn't have the seating problem, this would be a 5 star. Service was good and prices very reasonable.

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Thank angela p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Lillian's is something of a sentimental favorite for me. My girlfriend used to live in the neighborhood, within walking distance of this little hole-in-the-wall. We have celebrated everything from birthdays to Fridays here and I have loved every meal. I can highly recommend the Sunday gravy, a delicious stewed meat sauce which you can have over your choice of pasta or polenta.

The prices are quite reasonable. The place is quite small and always packed. It can be noisy and you have to go all the way through the kitchen to visit the restroom. They don't take reservations, but you can call ahead to put your name on the wait list. Or you can just walk up and give them your name and cell number then walk down the block for a drink at the bar at the Crepe Place. Remember to put your phone on vibrate!

Thank Samuel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Just fantastic food. Stopped by Santa Cruz on the way to S.F. and found this on Yelp. It is always a good sign when people waiting out the door. Worth the wait.

The Sunday Gravy is the way to go, but especially with Polenta (skip the meat balls).

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Thank winecheeselover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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