By Duane Wells
Few places in Sonoma County encapsulate its past and its future as decidedly as Petaluma. For as much as downtown Petaluma echoes a time gone by with its Gold Rush inspired, Victorian-era architecture and ‘every little town in America’ vibe, it is also remarkably progressive. Behind the town’s historic facades lie thriving new businesses, a bustling and modern city center and chic new restaurants full of the foodie bravura for which Petaluma’s neighbors have become famous.
On a Sunday morning, a few weeks back I popped into town for brunch. I had my heart set on trying Luma as I’d read nothing but great reviews of the “eclectic American” fare served at the casual neighborhood restaurant in Petaluma’s hipster, mix-use warehouse district. My only fear about my choice was that there might be a line. To my surprise, by the time I arrived at around 1:00PM, there wasn’t much of a crowd at all and I was seated immediately.
Starving, I quickly ordered the special of the day, Maple Bacon French Toast, a fruit salad and grapefruit which is served sort of bruléed with brown sugar on top. While the former was a deliciously salty and sweet combo of savory bacon and French toast that was wonderfully executed, the fruit was truly a revelation.
Luma’s menu is inspired by the local bounty of Sonoma County. Coffee comes from the nearby Petaluma Roasting Company; cheese arrives from Cowgirl Creamery; organic ice cream comes from nearby Three Twins; port is delivered from Sonoma Portworks; Saison beer is made in two-barrel batches in a warehouse down the road by the Henhouse Brewing Company; farm fresh eggs arrive daily from Tolay Family Farms Farm and produce comes from Tara Firma and Green String Farms. This affinity for locally sourced products shone through on the fruit salad which was without question one of the best I’ve enjoyed anywhere in the world. It was so simple, but so well done.
And the grapefruit…oh my! It was out of this world. If you had told me before I sat down to brunch a Luma that I would today be singing the praises of warm grapefruit, I would have looked at you as incredulously as one might look at a saint in a whorehouse and yet singing I most certainly am. So much so in fact that I’m looking forward to sampling dinner at Luma next time. The comfort theme continues at the eatery with an intriguing menu of items like fig+blue pie, truffled mac n’ cheese and ancho porcini seared hangar steak. I can hardly wait.
Find out more about Luma at www.lumapetaluma.com.