A small Mexican restaurant on 4th Street along Retro Row, Lola’s is a little place that looks bright and cheery from the outside. Brightly painted with lively colors, the inside decor features delightfully painted skulls and lizards that cover the walls. Unfortunately, I have to say that our most recent visit to Lola’s was disappointing, and even though I was so looking forward to our meal out this past weekend, sadly it was not meant to be.
Let me begin by saying that the servers are always friendly and welcoming here, and this evening was no exception. However, on this unfortunate night, our server had to apologize a few times for the slow service, as we unknowingly followed a large private party into the dining room. Apparently the kitchen is not equipped to handle this. I think we should have been warned that service was going to be slow before we ordered, but we weren’t. So our food took forever and all the while they served us never-ending chips and salsa. Nice, but we wanted real food—not just filler.
Then, just to add to our sad state of affairs, the air conditioning was out of order too, so all the doors were open, causing the restaurant to fill up with flies, which of course all had to hover over our table—very annoying. Not a very promising start, to say the least.
After a few more apologies and two glasses of red wine sangrias, I was feeling a bit more generous and forgiving. Thinking that perhaps our food would be worth the wait at least, but no, we were not so fortunate. My kids both decided to order off the regular menu—an order of carnitas (shredded pork) street tacos with rice and beans, and a Mole chicken burrito—both better choices than mine and my mother’s, as we both ordered from the “specials” board today, only to be disappointed again.
I ordered the mole pork shank smothered in the mole verde sauce, served with rice and beans. My pork was very dry and tasteless, and the verde sauce did not taste at all like mole, but as I am used to the typical red mole sauce, this may just be my own ignorance. However, my mother ordered the Pacific Ahi ceviche, and the fish came out a little gray. This I have to say is not a good color for what is supposed to be a fresh fish dish.
I will have to say that the kids fared better with their tacos and burrito; they both said they enjoyed their choices. My daughter did say that her refried beans tasted a bit different. We never really pinpointed what the actual added ingredient was to cause this difference. But my guess was that they may have added some sort of squash to the recipe, as it was a bit orange and had a little bit of an after taste that wasn’t beans.
So at this point we just decided to call it a night, thus leaving with the thought that this was just a bad night for Lola’s. Better luck next time.
Lola’s is located at 2030 E 4th St | (562) 343-5506 | lolasmexicancuisine.com
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