Occupation: Marketing Manager
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Loló Restaurant
Reviewed Loló Restaurant: Thursday, May 10, 2012
I chose Lolo as my restaurant because it works on many different levels. It’s an easy place to start or end your night with a quick bite or use it as a date-night restaurant, because everything is made to share. I’ve even had larger groups in here and the staff are always more than accommodating with any kind of request we’ve had.
While the beer and wine list isn’t overwhelming, they do have several wines on-tap, and they also have a fermented agave (like tequila)-based margarita, which was one of the best margaritas I’ve had in a long time. The wine tends to be on the interesting side, as I’ve had a sparkling Shiraz and other wines that perfectly compliment the food. The staff is knowledgeable about their wine list and able to make excellent suggestions.
Since the restaurant is family run, they get to know you quickly and constantly recommend special items that may or may not be on the menu. Always try the specials, because you never know when you’re going to see them again. Tonight’s offering was the Gambas Bravas, shrimp in a spicy sauce with grilled bread for dipping and a soft shell crab taco. Neither dish disappointed.
Because the tables are so close it’s almost like you’re getting a parade of food; you’re always getting an eyeful of the different dishes. Just when you think you’re done, there is bound to be one more thing you want to try!
I must have worked my way through the menu at least twice, but you always have to get the tropical tacos and the lamb burger sliders. The tropical tacos are fried shrimp tacos with sliced jicama as the “tortillas” with a spicy crema and pineapple mango salsa over the top. I get these every time I eat here: sometimes I get two orders. The lamb sliders are a perfect size of lamb in a soft bun with a pepperoncini skewered through the top and crispy potato matchstick. So simple yet so good
The bread with the dipping sauce is so good that we even figured out how to make it at home and it’s a staple whenever we have people over.
Even though I always seem to find myself sitting at the bar, the atmosphere definitely matches the ambiance. The place is awash in bright colors and one wall is decorated with small paper boats, the bar is covered with Mexican loto forms, and the bathrooms have a tropical island theme. It the small details that make it work even better.
Overall, I love that whether I’m in the neighborhood at the farmer’s market, seeing live music at the bar next door, or driving back across town, a stop at Lolo is a must along the way.
Occupation: University President
Favorite Restaurant: Salute E Vita Ristorante
Reviewed Loló Restaurant: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Lolo’s is a small, friendly, bistro in the Mission of San Francisco, near a campus of the City College of San Francisco, where you can linger with a friend and lazily work your way through a menu that invites sharing a sequence of tasty treats. We chose an inside window table where we could enjoy both the Mission street scene as well as visitors to the local farmers’ market.
The small staff was very attentive and efficient. From the restaurant’s own description: “Loló was designed by Lorena Zertuche using many recycled materials… in an attempt to create an environment that is fun and without pretention.” We began our evening with a delicious and ample guacamole that we almost didn’t finish. For libations, we chose a Blue Moon brew and an agave wine margarita. The latter was quite refreshing. Since the agave cactus yields both tequilas and wines, this wine margarita offers a quite refreshing drink without the intensity of the tequila, but with its own special kick from the mixture of salt and dried chilies that rimmed the glass.
Delicious crab and chorizo tostadas were next with a lovely sandia pepper aioli. In turn, these were followed by carnitas: pork “confit” beautifully served in a banana leaf, accompanied by roasted tomatillo sauce and guacamole, and easily transferred to blue corn tortillas. Some near us continued to sample more items, but we concluded with Grandma’s superb chocolate Mexican flan. The total cost before tip was $57. The parking logistics in the Mission can be quite daunting, but Lolo is fortunate to be a half block from a public parking garage. One needs to enter on 21st Street near Bartlet and drive to the far end of the garage and park where there is a pedestrian exit to 22nd Street. BART is within easy walking distance as well.
Favorite Restaurant: Le Garage
Reviewed Loló Restaurant: Monday, May 14, 2012
Loló is a fun spot with good energy; it serves a variety of Mexican-style tapas. It’s a great place to go with a group, or if you’re in the mood for an array of small bites. While Loló is a Mexican-style restaurant, it’s a break from the more traditional taquerias in the Mission with variations on some expected (and even unexpected) dishes.
We ordered a little bit of everything, and nothing disappointed. Of course there were standouts, but the entire spread was fresh and inventive. Of the 12 tapas, the major stars were lamb sliders, crab tostadas, and arugula salad. Whenever I go back, the lamb sliders will be on my must-have list. They were served on brioche buns with a rich, creamy mushroom sauce and slivers of porcinis. We ended up mopping up the sauce with our slider buns -- it was that good! And there were pepperoncini to add the optional but always welcomed kick. The arugula salad, while basic, was a fresh mix of greens, goat cheese, pine nuts, and dried fruit. I could have asked for more goat cheese and pine nuts, but when isn’t that the case? We also had a round of the tamarind margaritas that were crisp, refreshing, sweet and sour and served with flavored salt! And the Pedro Papantla ice cream dessert tasted like a liqueur-soaked buttercream ball -- decadent and delicious!
The space itself is brightly colored and welcoming. There are cute cowboy boot vases around the restaurant and somewhat bizarre tiny clothes hanging on the brightly painted walls. (Apparently, they’re Quinceañeras decor.) Also, the bathroom is quite the experience – with the sounds of birds chirping in what I imagine to be a rainforest or tropical setting.
The weak point was the occasionally sporadic service though it didn’t really affect our overall experience. The servers, who were all very friendly, continually brought our tapas that came in three rounds: first were vegetable dishes, then seafood, and finally meat. However it was occasionally hard to get their attention to order. This wasn’t a big deal overall though as we all were devouring the tapas.
Loló is delicious and fun and a good bang for your buck! Go with a group and try a little bit of everything. Especially the lamb sliders and the margaritas.