Restaurants + Cocktails

Food is the common denominator that brings people together - were the words often spoken by James Beard and philosophy well understood and regularly practiced by our female ancestors. To cook for someone is to share oneself and arguably, it is the most common (and most often overlooked) form of love expression. Food is memories. Aromas of even the simplest dishes from our childhood instantly take us back and the smell of vanilla, orange blossom water and almonds are not just ingredients of Contessa Borelli's cookies my nonna used to make, but they magically have the capability to turn you into a child who landed right into their grandmother's enveloping embrace. That female energy, that unselfishly and without expectation gives of oneself, nurtures, delights and brings warmth and happiness to everything that it touches - that is the spirit and essence of Lola, as described by their wonderful owners Samuel and Paloma. Hence the name Lola - short for Dolores. A quintessential latin name that signifies the ‘sorrow’ and serves as the reminder that even something painful can be eased with a good meal and good friends. 

There are not many locally owned restaurants that embody an amalgamation of food, sensuality, and design with such success. Chef Sam (whose amazing techniques were cast and forged in numerous domestic and international culinary Meccas) well understands that beauty elevates ordinary. Making food both delicious and a feast for the eyes, as well as pairing flavor and beauty not just on the plate but also in the ambiance, could have you mistake Lola for a delightful bistro somewhere in the shaded Roma streets in Mexico City.

Everything has been carefully curated,

from delightfully mismatched dishes that carry the energy of meals past served in numerous family celebrations, handmade glassware crafted by local artisans, music that vibrates with characteristic latin enchantment, plaster walls that have been hand applied by the chef and his family, furniture that has been sourced and transported directly from makers native to the family, to the petite fresh blooms placed on each table, daily. Every detail, from the first handshake you have with Lola (the entry main doors which belonged to the local antique library) to the first sip of their expertly crafted cocktails, provides one with a truly authentic experience of Mexico. 

Chef Sam creates delicate plates that surprise the palette with unexpected pairings that are mixed with fresh seasonal ingredients. They feel as if they were just picked from nonna’s, or in this case, abuela's garden, beautifully seasoned and expertly arranged on the plate and paired with complex sides and sauces that ooze with an amalgam of numerous spices (and likely more than a few traditionally passed secret ingredients) that have been simmering, bubbling and perfuming the neighborhood for days. Each dish places emphasis on freshness, lightness and clarity of flavor. Only a few of the finest quality ingredients are used but they are being paired with just the right aromas that highlight and allow the main ingredient to blossom. The combination of adventurous sensual flavors, results in sheer delight of senses. Since Chef Sam has clearly mastered the culinary techniques shared across various ethnic cuisines, he is expertly able to add his artistic touch to each dish and create unique interpretations of beloved classic dishes.  

As they say, perfection cannot be rushed, and it shouldn't. In order for one to truly experience authentic Mexico, one needs to lean into Lola's holistic experience that will nudge you to slow down and savor not only each flavor to the fullest, but also the time you are spending with people around you. Lola is the perfect place that will gift you with the most scrumptious blend of tradition and nouvelle Mexican cuisine. Swing by their patio and if you are lucky you might get to enjoy occasional live music on the weekends. Relish and savor your fist bite, the look on your company's face as they taste the dishes and the connectivity that fills the space when we gather and share a meal together.

Lola | 856 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

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