Lola was the name of my paternal grandmother, so how could I not check out a restaurant named Lola 55. It’s a new entry into the East Village at 13th & F in the IDEA building. Kind of like the Tender Greens of tacodom
2 friends and I met up yesterday for lunch at Lola 55, and sorry, no photos, I accidentally left my cell phone in the car. For being located in one of those concrete and glass structures, it was surprisingly airy and sunny. The bar, where we sat, has a small by quite good selection of quality tequilas and slightly more mezcals.
There are 9 upscale, fancy pants tacos on the menu and guess what…we ordered all 9. I never, in a million, bazillion years thought I would ever say a carrot adobado taco was too fabulous for words, but please trust me, it was. In fact, I’d venture to say that carrot taco was on of my top 3, which would be rounded out with the Rib-eye and the carnitas tacos. My least favorites? The grilled chicken taco and the pork belly tacos. The stuffed squash blossom and rainbow cauliflower tacos were also very tasty and would be great options for a vegetarian. Both fish tacos were good. The spicy fish taco really is spicy. The salsa on it is made with the Carolina Reaper chile and the heat lingers on the palate. The taco itself appears to be a riff on the old Gringo en Vacaciones taco from Tacos Kokopelli in Tijuana, pero ni modo, if you like spicy food this should hit the spot for you. I generally can handle a fairly decent heat level. I loved the flavors but could only manage a couple of bites before my mouth said no more.
We also ordered the Lola version of elotes, the beloved corn on the cob dressed with mayo, crema, chile powder and lime juice. This one is, thoughtfully, and thankfully, served off the cob, which really makes it esquites, but if they want to call it an elote, I won’t quibble with them too much. And we finished up our meal with the churros, sweet and crispy on the outside, soft, pillowy and a still a bit to wet in the center.
3 cocktails, 3 shots of tequila, 9 tacos, 1 bowl of elotes and 1 order of churros and the tab for all 3 of us was $119 which isn’t at all bad for the amount of food and beverage we had.
Parking sucks in the area (so what’s new), but if you haven’t been to check out Lola 55 yet, do. The food was very good, the ambiance was fun and the concept works. As you can tell, I liked Lola a lot and I intend to go back, frequently. It’s only a 2 block walk from the Blue line trolley stop at the Smart Building/City College stop.