In college, my girls and I had a spot. And it was Lola’s. I was always the whiskey and coke girl, until I met Nicole who introduced me to the world of Martinis and Sex and the City. Needless to say, I maintain my Jack Daniel girl roots, but there is a part of me that enjoys a stiff martini and a gossip fest with the ladies. I went back to my old hangout last Friday for a tasting menu and was positively happy with what came at me. Wayne still makes the best Apple Martini. All is right in the world.
The meal started with the accoutrements; homemade potato chips and pickled vegetables. And of course, the famous Apple Martini. I loved pickled items, and Lola’s makes a great pickled item. Hats off guys. The chips were crisp, just a tad too greasy, but went well with the veggies. The martini was meant to pair with their bacon macaroni and cheese, which is exactly what came out next.
Small, bubbly, bowl of goodness. I mean, pure goodness. So good. May I digress? One of the reasons I get frustrated with macaroni and cheese in LA is the ABSOLUTE NEED of places to put Velveeta in their cheese mix to make it creamy… WHY!!? Just use good cheese and butter and you will have a creamy, fabulous mac and cheese. Like mine.
Lola’s is Velveeta free. Thank god. The mac and cheese was creamy, but also had body. When I pulled my fork away from the little bowl, strings of cheese followed. I love that. There was only a little bit of bacon, enough to compliment the apple martini. Everything worked in harmony. Fabulous.
The second pairing was a little different. It was a sort of cold salad plate with a corn guacamole and a Mexican inspired chicken salad with chips. With it came a Cantaloupe martini.
Th guacamole was good with the little pops of sweet corn. But the chicken salad was, interesting. I couldn’t tell if I liked it. It wasn’t bad, just unexpected. I didn’t know how it went with everything else. The martini though, delicious! It was so fruity and was a great compliment to the guacamole without being too over bearing. I could have eaten double the guacamole with just the martini, maybe as the first course, and the macaroni and cheese after.
The third course was my favorite! It started with a lemon drop which is one of my favorite martini drinks. I am such a citrus lover. Next was a flat-bread pizza with a simple red sauce, topped with lemon juice coated arugula, bacon, and Parmesan cheese.
First, let me say ANY lemon drop martini should have a sugar rim. It was so good. The drink is tart with a punch and you need that coarse sugar to compliment the lemony drink. The pizza crust was thin, a little sweet, and fluffy while still being crunchy. Hard to explain, but just a treat. I love fresh greens and lemon, and arugula + lemon is one of my favorite combos. I didn’t need the bacon or cheese; both added bites of salty flavor, but the bread and greens alone was enough for me. The dough being a little sweet paired great with the lemon on the greens. The same idea was masked into the drink, and just so good.
Dessert included a chocolate Tiramisu and a Clockwork Orange Martini. I usually avoid messing with the classics, but this time I was appreciative of the change with the chocolate cake instead of lady fingers in the Tiramisu.
The martini and cake were in disjunction to me. It was rich on top of rich. I would have preferred a refreshing martini instead of something creamy and sweet. I couldn’t finish the cake because I was getting so bogged down with the sugar. However, on their own, both are really delicious. The Clockwork Orange Martini was like an orange creamsicle. Yum. And the Tiramisu… rich but so good. I mean the cake was super moist, the creamy inbetweens were so good. I loved it. There was this chocolate sauce on the other side of the raspberry that I ate on its own. I wanted to dip multiple items into it. DELICIOUS! Actually… brilliant. Next time, I am saving some of those house made potato chips and dunking them in the chocolate sauce.
Lola’s, if you are listening, I expect this on the menu.
Lovely dinner, lovely night. Lola’s wins again.