Lola’s is right in the middle of Downtown Santa Ana, a short walk from my apartment. See? Santa Ana isn’t all the way you think it is. (Although I admit, some of it is the way you think it is.) This little pocket of restaurants is a popular place to be. It has a nice ambience with strung lighting and heat lamps. There’s a Gypsy Den, a Memphis, and a couple of other restaurants right in this little area that I haven’t tried yet.
I wanted to go to Lola’s for my birthday earlier this year, but it is a smaller place and they don’t take reservations on the first weekend of the month due to the art walk (which I have yet to go to, shame on me). But last night I got to try it out with Sharon. After waiting a half hour for a prime seat under a heat lamp, we had a delicious dinner with good conversation and lovely music, compliments of the man sitting on the sidewalk behind us with his guitar.
So here’s my (very) amateur review, based on one night at this restaurant and tapas bar:
Drinks: If you ask for water, they’re going to serve you from the tap. If you live here, you know that the tap water is somewhat nasty, which we concluded they do on purpose to make you buy a drink. I was going to buy a drink anyway. I got one that I can’t remember the name of, recommended by the waiter. It was delicious.
Food: Really really good. Sharon and I both got tacos. She got the beef cheek al pastor tacos and I got the canasta style veggie potato tacos. We traded one of them so we could both taste each others. Both kinds tasted incredible, and were small so they didn’t make us feel stuffed. I wouldn’t recommend them if you don’t like spice…they were pretty high up there on the spice-o-meter. But Sharon and I happen to love spicy food, and this was no exception. I believe the menu does change with the season. We also ordered a gelato dish for desert. It was pretty delicious too.
Service: Friendly and helpful. Not too slow, but not overly attentive. Just right.
Price: Not bad. Not fast food cheap, but not bad for what you are getting.
Ambience: Perfect. Like I said, we sat outside under a heat lamp. They have lights strung everywhere and it’s not too loud. Inside was a bit louder, you’d sort of have to yell if you were having a conversation, but it wouldn’t be too bad.
So, if you want to take me here for my next birthday, be my guest. I promise you will love it too.