Unpeeled fruit bowl: threat or menace?

I wouldnt be surprised if having the fruit bowl on the menu is part of LULUs contract. It’s kind of a thing at Chez Panisse


“Not doing anything” except sourcing the best fruit, hiring people to take care of and serve it, and paying for everything else to keep the restaurant open, which is typically two or three times the food cost.


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Also, if they peel and slice the fruit and you don’t eat it all, they have to throw it out. If they don’t, they can wash it and serve it to someone else, or use it in the kitchen.

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Did you at least get a moist towel to wipe your hands after?

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And this.

Not for nothing but if I’m paying $12 for 5 tangerines I’m taking all the uneaten fruit home.


I think that’s a reasonable point.

So, let’s ask the horse (so to speak): were those oranges perfect?

I think this part is not to be underestimated. If I’m at a business lunch (not an unreasonable assumption, given the area) or doing to the museum afterward, I kind of don’t want to have to wash myself off. ::shrug::

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Then eat it with a knife and fork, like the French.

Another reason to serve it unpeeled.

How the heck am I supposed to cut into an orange at a restaurant? I guess I could ask for a steak knife…

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no. i’ve had better. if i sampled this at the fm, i would have passed.


nope, went to the restroom after to clean off.

I wouldn’t expect the fruit bowl to meet the Chez Panisse standard until after a week or two.

Not everybody knows how to buy the best (or even good) fruit, and not everyone who does can get to the right farmers market at the right day and time. Lulu will likely be getting some stuff from Chino Farm, which is even less convenient.

My backyard fruits are spoken for lol…


I’m interested in hearing further reports as time goes on. If I can ever get a reservation myself, I might just try it to see how good it is (b/c I’m not going to be able to get a reservation for several wks - months, presumably).

I am not opposed to them charging a lot for truly perfect fruit, but, if you’re going to serve unpeeled fruit and charge $10, it really better be consistently absolute perfection, IMHO.


For the record, it was $10 for a bowl of (per the photo) four regeneratively farmed organic Satsuma and Kishu mandarins. I haven’t seen those at the farmers market yet this year, but non-organic Satsumas are going for $2.69 a pound.

it seemed like they were holding a lot of open seats for walk ins and random museum visitors. I think you can get a table or at least a seat at the bar without a reservation.

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Can’t believe people are here defending unpeeled fruit in a bowl for $10


I just find it hard to get too worked up about it :man_shrugging:. No one is forced to buy the fruit. In general the menu prices don’t seem out of line otherwise. I might even pay it if was getting say a bowl of cherries from Andy’s Orchard but no not for oranges lol

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It’s not like they just throw the fruit on the table. They serve it to you with a bowl, plates, and cutlery, then have to clear the table and wash the stuff. And they can’t seat anyone else at the table while you’re eating. And they have to pay staff, bills, taxes. How is that not worth 2X-3X the cost of the fruit? Especially when most restaurants have very slim margins?

It’s quite similar to wine, which has a significantly higher markup.

But if you asked them then, would they peel the fruit for you? :thinking:

Was that @PorkyBelly’s mistake?


They probably would if you asked them. Peeling a mandarin is so difficult and exhausting.

How about those bizarre places that just plunk the crab in front of you and expect you to crack it and pick the meat yourself?