3312 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA, USA
Lola's New Orleans Reviews
Spanish Food In NOLA Done Right Nov 12, 2009
There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of really good restaurants in New Orleans. I'd wanted to try Lola's for the longest time, but with so many other great options, didn't get around to it until recently. I can't believe I've lived in this city so many years and had never checked this place out!
Lola's is in the Faubourg St. John neighbourhood and is packed pretty much nightly. Reservations are not accepted, so it's first come first serve. This spot is very popular with locals and the atmosphere is definitely relaxed and casual. It's a small space and does get crowded, wait times can be long. I would recommend going on a weekday evening.
The kitchen is open to the dining area. Patrons are able to see the food prep and the meals taking shape. Some complain about the wait staff and service, but we had good service the evening we went and it was slammed. I believe there were only three servers for a restaurant that was completely packed - waiting tables, running orders, monitoring the front door and people wanting a table, refilling glasses with water, clearing tables, etc. I think they did a good job and were patient.
The food is delicious, seriously good. The warm bread is served with a whipped garlic butter - tasty. While the menu is not extensive, there is something for all. Vegetarian items are printed in green ink. Tapas are an option, too, although the entrees are impossible to overlook. I think this restaurant is best known for its paella. Although we did not try the paella, the fideuà was excellent. The almond soup is another stand out. We will return, hopefully soon, to try more of their plates. I am already looking forward to it.
They didn't have their liquor license for many, many years. However, now they serve beer and wine. Patrons are still allowed to BYOB. The sangria (only red) is excellent.
I don't have a comparison point, but I've heard locals complain that this place has increased prices since Katrina, but considering the amount of food served, I think that it's still a great value. For 1 appetizer, 2 soups, 2 entrees, 1 desert and a bottle of sangria plus another glass the total was $82 and some change, not including the tip.
I would recommend this restaurant to anyone that's hungry for Spanish cuisine and is not in a hurry. I think that this might be the best NOLA has to offer concerning Spanish food.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!