On my parental catch up trip home a few weeks ago I suggested we all go out to a nice dinner. I suggested Lola because the chef had been nominated for a James Beard award this year, and because their one vegetarian option sounded tasty. The dinner was going well until the entrees arrived. The vegetarian risotto with butternut squash and tofu came out as a stacked entree: all the ingredients were seperated. This presentation led me to believe each item could be eaten alone. Not so. Neither the tofu nor the Squash had been flavored at all...possibly not even salted! The dish was kind of ok when i finally mushed everything together, but it was still sub par. I complained to my waitress that the dish was not only poorly executed but it seemed as if the chef had not cared at all about my dish. She replied that he was " a meat guy" and had "begrudgingly put a vegetarian dish on the menu"!!!!
Fine, you don't want to cook a vegetarian meal, then don't put it on the menu at all. I have never felt more insulted in a restaurant than i did then. My parents were willing to lay down a few hundred dollars for this dinner, and in return the chef effectively gave me the bird. I guess I wanted to write this as warning. Lola may be a great restaurant for meat eaters (my parents loved their entres of fish and duck), but to have a chef who could be so blatantly rude to his customers is a sign of not good things to come. Restaurants are in the service industry. It's about pleasing people, not making judgements on their eating habits. That chef, by preparing me a careless meal, said to me that he was willing to take my money but didn't want to put any care into the preparation. Shame on Lola.