The ultimate tribute to Lorenzo “Larry” Cruz is the creation of a restaurant that showcases the best of the best dishes from all of the LJC restaurants. Lorenzo’s Way in Greenbelt 5 celebrates Larry’s legacy of good and reliable food from his restaurants, which include Abe, Bistro Remedios, Bollywood, Fely J’s, Bistro Burgos, Abe’s Farm, Larry’s Cafe and Bar, Cafe Adriatico, Ang Hang, In the Mood Ballroom Dancing, Cafe Havana and Solana Restaurant.

You can’t go wrong with ordering anything from their menu. There is no compromise on the taste of the food. Everything is just right without the need for additional condiments. The dishes are selected based on nostalgia and invoke images of fun days in any of the LJC restaurants.

 

One problem with coming up with the Best of the Best is that there is no focus in terms of cuisine. This is contrary to the successful formula of the LJC restaurants, which provide focused and niche cuisines. Also, the best dish may not be your favorite — Ex. I believe that Abe Serendra’s Lamb Adobo Bencab is the best but it isn’t found in Lorenzo’s Way. With Mesa just beside Lorenzo’s Way, the latter’s claim of affordability is in question.

The ambiance is mature and tasteful with the resto’s leather seats, wooden panels, carefully selected paintings and a comfortable romantic mood, which is a signature trait of Cafe Adriatico.

Lorenzo’s Way Menu | Appetizers, Soups, and SaladsMain Courses, Couscous and Paellas | Vegetables, Rice and Desserts | Cocktails and Spirits | Drinks List

It feels a bit old when compared to Mesa. The look is still geared towards the Baby Boomers and some members of Gen X. I’m sure Aidan’s generation won’t appreciate this kind of ambiance anymore.

 

Garlic sticks are served for free. It has the right crunch and just enough carbo to stir up your appetite. A great way to start the meal.

Onion Soup Gratinee (P145 +10%sc) Larry’s-style onion soup with Gruyere and crusty bread au gratin.

You’ll never go wrong with onion soup and Gruyere. We loved this.

La Mancha (P145 +10%sc) Creamy garlic soup with bacon, chorizo and ham.

Something different that you might want to try.

Costillas Ternera Guisada (P595 +10%sc) Braised beef short ribs in wine sauce with vegetables and olives.

The beef is tender and the sauce — as they would say — “Sa sauce pa lang, ulam na.” The serving sizes in Lorenzo’s Way are typically good for 2-3 persons.

Bamboo Rice (P240 +10%sc) Fried Rice with bamboo shoots, shrimps, chicken and wood ear mushrooms from Abe.

A typical Abe favorite. This rice can increase your appetite. You’d probably end up ordering another serving.

Adobong Puso with Gambas (P250 +10%sc)

We usually make it a point to order a vegetable dish to make the dining experience healthy. Banana heart is always a good choice and is very Filipino (either with coconut gata or cooked adobo style). I like the surprising bits of chicharon on top.

Baked Blueberry Custard (P150 +10%sc) Vanilla custard with blueberry sauce, baked in an earthen pot or Spanish “casuela”.

Yummy. Not too sweet. Something you can enjoy until the very end.

Banana Chocolate Volcano (P175 +10%sc) Baby Bundt chocolate cake topped with roasted bananas and smothered with chocolate ganache with coffee creme sauce around it.

A typical mound of chocolate dessert with roasted banana and coffee.

Larry Cruz definitely made his lasting contributions to Manila, and it is worthwhile to pay tribute to this great man by eating in Lorenzo’s Way.

G/F, Greenbelt 5 Ayala Center,
Makati City, Philippines