Monday, March 3, 2014

The LJC Group is Thirty Five Years Old

The LJC Group invited me through OpenRice Philippines to celebrate its 35th year of giving good food and warm service to the public. I am much delighted to know that it was their first time to invite bloggers for this very important day of their company. LJC or Larry J. Cruz is the one who started Café Adriatico and has now expanded into different kind of themed restaurants. Here are the lists of LJC Group restaurants:

Abe (Serendra, Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Alabang)

Café Adriatico (Gateway, Mall of Asia, Premiere)

Café Havana (Greenbelt)

Bistro Remedios (Greenbelt)

Larry’s Café & Bar (Greenbelt)

Fely J’s Kitchen (Greenbelt)

Lorenzo’s Way (Greenbelt, BGC)

***They also have Abe’s Farm (Pampanga) and catering service

Although they came from one group, each has its theme. Abe is a tribute to the memory of Larry’s dad, Emilio “Abe” Aguilar Cruz, serving Kapampangan cuisine; Café Adriatico, serving a full menu of Filipino, Spanish and Mediterranean inspired dishes; Café Havana is Cuban bar where guests can enjoy their tapas, hearty meals, mojito, and live Latin music; Bistro Remedios is a regional cooking in a bistro setting; Larry’s Café & Bar is a cozy place with a continental dishes, wines and spirits; Fely J’s Kitchen is dedicated for Larry’s mom, Felicidad De Jesus-Cruz, offering Asian and home cooking; Lorenzo’s Way is a resto of featuring dishes of LJC restaurants favorites; and Abe’s Farm is a restaurant, resort, spa, accommodation, and museum at the foothill of Mount Arayat.

Larry J. Cruz
The man behind the growth of Café Adriatico is actually a journalist for 20 years almost, worked at big radio stations, then as a Press Undersecretary during the early Marcos years. When he retired, he put up an art gallery then an antique shop the next. Larry is a food lover that made him to put up restaurant. His taste bud was never a question but the ups and downs of establishing a restaurant, branching out, and uniquely conceptualizing each was always there in setting up restaurants. He died in 2008 diagnosed of having thyroid cancer and Fely J’s Kitchen resto at that time was having its soft opening. He knew that his eldest daughter, Lorna, could handle everything well and maintain LJC’s ways.

Lorna Cruz Ambas
Miss Lorna has been working with his dad in year 1982 and then she told us that Café Adriatico became the landmark of Malate. It became known because people in Malate before find places to unwind and share stories. There was full of designers and fashion designers as well. The owner of the building of Café Adriatico offered to them the second floor for rent and that is the time where the kitchen has its opportunity to expand. She said that they don’t really advertise but they are happy that people write about them. 

Malou Evidente
As said by the marketing manager, the competition now is really stiff for food industry but what makes them different is they would keep the LJC way… and she meant is to have the guests a pleasurable dining – good food, warm service, a feel of elegance but with casual ambience all in reasonable price. She added, “We do it (expansion) slowly because we make sure that the legacy stays.”
Miss Malou and Chef George

Chef George
Café Adriatico launched new dish to entice foodies to come over and we felt really glad that we were the first set of bloggers to taste Garlic Pork Leg Espagnole. The dip is color green that made to ask most of us what it is. “It is Parsley con Garlic. Its ingredients are parsley, orange, and garlic. Baka sabihin niyo, ay hindi marunong gumawa ng pesto sauce ang Café Adriatico.”, he explained humorously.

We had a full course meal (see my post here for my food review) that made us really be quiet every time the food was set in on our 6 occupied dining table. The most remarkable thing that they have said is something like this, “We had a great time to set our very first bloggers night with all of you. You guys are like family, you know each other and it was loud. Most of the time it’s quiet here.” And so we all laughed that makes the convention night be as joyful as ever.



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  1. The food looks good! I love the name hehe Larry can't cook!

    1. yeah. and what's amazing is that even he can't cook, he was able to put up many restaurants!

  2. Wow it sims the food is yummy. Hoping someday I could attend this kind of event.

  3. I love the restaurants in the LJC group. Each has its own character and all sell great food :) The new Cafe Adriatico dish looks so delish!

  4. I didn't tknow that Fely J's Kitchen is part of the LJC group! Happy Anniversary LJC!