Long Beach Foodie Update: Lola’s Brings the Mexican to Brunch

Lola’s owner, founder, and arguably the Happiest Man in Long Beach Luis Navarro agrees with a growing group of food-centric thinkers on one thing: Mexican food is more than a street taco. This isn’t to dismiss the almighty taco; far from it. What it means is that Mexican cuisine can stand in the same culinary light that Italian, French, and other “heightened” cuisines bask in.

And Navarro is leading the way for Long Beach to look beyond buckets of Tecate and a side of rice’n’beans in favor of, well, seared veal tongue with roasted guajillo chile bone marrow salsa. It’s taking beef wellington and Mexican-izing it with chicken, bacon, spinach and a poblano cream sauce, dubbing it Abuelo’s Pollo.

You can imagine why we’re pretty thrilled then with the fact that one of Long Beach’s best Mexican joints with one of Long Beach’s best patios is now serving brunch on the weekends, 10AM to 3PM. (Thank the food gods it doesn’t start at 11AM.)

We’re talking a breakfast sope trio platter that includes carne asada, carnitas, and soyrizo. Mexican French toast drizzled with dulce de leche. And yes, the almighty concha breakfast sandwich stuffed with eggs, jalapeño-infused bacon, and cheese for a salty’n’sweet wonder.

Perhaps even more than his love of elevated Mexican food and the man’s incredibly charming and giving spirit, he is frank about a very particular aspect of running a restaurant: he wants others to succeed.

“I can’t expect people to come here every day—that’s why having more options around Lola’s is so essential,” Navarro said. “There’s more foot traffic with more variety and we’re just proud to be part of a community of restaurants, not just a lone wolf.”

Well, we’re happy you’re part of Long Beach. Now, onto those concha sammies.

Lola’s Mexican Cuisine has two locations, one on Retro Row and one in Bixby Knolls: 2030 E 4th St. and 4140 Atlantic Ave.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.