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Restaurants & Bars 12

Lola's Tapas -- Phoenix

geg5150 | Oct 1, 200606:23 PM

There have been a few reviews of Lola's, but figured I'd add my two cents.

We were out celebrating Leanne, fellow CH'er's birthday. She selected Lola's and I was happy because I wanted to try it. Our Friend Sonja was also with us.

We arrived at 6:30 to a relatively full restaurant, but no wait. Lola's doesn't not have private tables, it's all community seating. We were seated at the smaller community table that seated 8 people. There was a couple to our right and a party of three to our left. We were sandwiched in between which was fine with me. The party to the left was wrapping up and started chatting with us. They were very friendly and we enjoyed that. In the meantime, the couple to the right was not happy with the extra people at the table. We overhead her say, "They are SOOOO loud" and "Must they be so loud". I mean, we're a group of three 30-somethings out for dinner on a Saturday night, not rowdy teenagers pounding beers at the bar. The husband said, in response, "Well, it IS Saturday night." Not sure what that meant. So, that put a damper on our time, but not for long. When the party of three left, we scooted down to the other end of the table.

All the while, we had been sipping our water and checking out the menu. We ordered 2 sparkling waters and Leanne asked for a Diet Coke. The server reminded us that they don't have any soda in the restaurant, no iced or hot tea either. The tap water came in really small rocks glasses, since we're in the desert, we drink ALOT of water. We asked the server if she could possibly bring us the carafe of water, otherwise, she'd have to fill our waters every 2 minutes. She brought us 3 big glasses of water.

The couple at the end of the table were seated in front of the light switch dimmer. Periodically throughout the meal, the woman was adjusting the lighting for the enitre restaurant. Imagine that! A server came over and said, "Oh, I'll take care of that." And adusted the lighting back to the original level. Not 5 minutes later, the woman made ANOTHER adjustment. So very odd she was. She wasn't a happy woman at all. Later in the meal, the couple burst into a low volume, but heated nontheless discussion. Who knew we were going to get dramatic dinner theatre.

I don't recall the Spanish names, so I'll give you what I remember. Chick peas with spinach and garlic, olive assortment, tortilla patata (potato pancake/pie), asparagus with lemon and pistachios, manchego with another cheese I don't remember with salchichon (a Spanish sausage )and almonds and dates. Everything was served cold/room temperature. Of course, I could have asked that in advance, but I wish that the menu stated what was warm and what was cold.

The special of the night was a filet with sofrito for $10. We didn't get that, as I had forgotten about it until we left and I saw it on the board as we walked out.

My faves were the asparagus and the cheese and sausage. The asparagus were cooked perfectly and tender. The tangy lemon sauce had just enough kick, but didn't overpower the dish. The pistachioes added just the right amount of crunch and saltiness. The cheese and sausage were great! The salchichon was super thinly sliced. Kind of like pepperoni is taste and appearance, but not as salty.

None of us were drinking (Leanne is PG in case you hadn't heard) and Sonja and I are on a health kick (HA!). We felt guilty not trying the sangria that I'd heard so much about. Both Sonja and Leanne had tried the red sangria on past visits. The party of three we chatted with when we were first seated mentioned that they had the red and the white and preferred the white. We order one glass of white sangria for Sonja and I to share. It arrive with two straws (points for the server.)

I took a big swig of the sangria. Whoa! Ick! It was all cinnamon. I removed the cinnamon stick hoping that would help. It didn't. It was bitter and very heavily spiced. I was disappointed. Oh well, just not my thing.

The meal for the three of us with 2 mineral waters ($2.50 each) and one sangria ($6 I think) was $51.00 including tax.

I didn't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it, but I liked it alot. I'll go back and try different things. And try the red sangria next time.


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