Lily Castro has been running the beloved family restaurant, Lily's Cafe, in the Point Dume Plaza for 30 years. Despite the restaurant's current popularity amongst the foodie crowd, and rave reviews in publications like Infatuation, Eater, and Los Angeles Magazine, the establishment still remains true to its roots. The popular burritos sell out quickly, and lines still stretch out the door. Castro however, smiles broadly and keeps going full steam ahead. In Malibu, she has grown to be a beloved figure who is frequently greeted with hugs and questions about her business, family, and personal life. Castro, who was born in El Salvador, and her husband Abel, immigrated to the US when she was 17 years old. Castro worked at her sister's donut shop on Point Dume while learning English. Since then, and having received boundless support from the community, Lily has turned her cafe into a local landmark.
Lily Castro's interest in cooking began at a young age, when she started assisting her family members in the kitchen as a child. She rapidly discovered a love and talent for cooking and was constantly experimenting with different foods and dishes. When she was only eight years old, her mother once left her at home by herself for an hour while she ran errands. She was shocked to see Lily had prepared a lunch for the family when she got back, complete with juicy sliced meat, tomatoes, bell peppers, and rice. Her mother was in awe of Lily's culinary prowess and knew that she had a talent.
Years later, Lily's lifetime ambition came true when she had the chance to take over her sister's small café. She and her husband, Abel, swiftly changed the old doughnut shop sign to read as the now well loved, "Lily's Café". Lily, who was only 18 years old at the time, was unfazed by the idea of starting her own business. Despite her occasional fear, she always had support from the community and a distinct vision for her food.
Lily made the decision to serve food inspired from her own El Salvador and the nations of her friends, like Mexico and Guatemala, in place of the shop's stale menu of sandwiches and pastries. She and Abel, with the help of their friends, spent many hours preparing and tasting the food, adjusting traditional family recipes, and fusing various ingredients to produce the tastiest menu possible. Lily's Café immediately rose to popularity among residents and became a destination for foodies looking for something unique.
If there is anything that Lily's Cafe has become well known for over the years, it has to be their famous breakfast burritos. The breakfast burrito is a masterwork despite its simplicity. Every component is precisely prepared and cooked to perfection, creating a flavor explosion in every bite. A mouthwatering blend of fluffy eggs, crispy bacon, and creamy pinto beans wrapped in a freshly griddled tortilla keeps customers coming back for more.
It even has risen to the ranks of some of the best burritos in Los Angeles. On Eaters List, it ranks as #17 for best breakfast burrito in LA. Yet, a lot of consumers think it ought to be higher up, and some even buy many burritos at once to freeze and eat later.
Lily's Café has added chilaquiles, enchiladas, tortas, and other dishes to its menu throughout the years. Although the menu has grown, every dish is still made with the same care and premium ingredients as when the restaurant first began. For instance, Lily's famous pinto beans require three hours of slow cooking to obtain the ideal texture, while the restaurant's original chicken and pork marinate in a special blend of spices for hours.
Despite her success, Lily remains humble and dedicated to her customers. She knows her regulars love her menu and so the café's menu remains unchanged. Customers appreciate her commitment to quality and can always count on a delicious meal at Lily's Café.
Source: Malibu Magazine