Review By: Elizabeth Walle –
I expected a long wait at Lola when my friends and I went to fuel up on brunch before heading to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike on another sunny Saturday in Denver. I was surprised they seated us immediately around noon–though it would have been a 45-minute wait for a spot on the deck patio, even at the bar. We were content inside. Lola is large and beachy, decked out in slicked up Mexican kitcsch like embellished prayer candles, bejeweled crosses and selling brightly colored t-shirts that read “hecho en Denver”
I had to start with the Mexican Mimosa: tequila, beer, orange juice and fresh lime. It was refreshing but at the same time made me feel a bit like I had woken up hungover among the remains of last night’s party and picked up a stray drink someone left behind. I couldn’t decide how good or bad this effect was, but I drank the whole thing. The bloodies were chile-infused and went down quite smoothly. We ordered several starters. Lobster deviled eggs were served with cilantro coulis and house-made pancetta and were delicate, creamy and savory. Mini doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with a little dulce de leche and served with a side of cinnamon whipped cream were warm, light, and really quite good. I had a few good forkfuls of the cinnamon whipped cream once the doughnuts were gone. Upon learning the guacamole is prepared table-side we were compelled to order it, and a moment later our server rolled up to our table with a clattering guacamole cart. He asked us how we liked it and we all chatted amiably as he whipped up our guac. It was fresh, delicious and nicely presented–but I must say a bit small. One avocado for a serving of guacamole to share? boo!
We shared several dishes for the main event. The Lola Huevos–migas with spicy tomato cream served in a fluted tostada, were good but not outstanding. The carnitas benedict, served on a chive biscuit with guajillo hollandaise and smoked corn-black bean salsa, sounded better on the menu than it tasted, but the eggs were poached perfectly and it was certainly not displeasing. I enjoyed the El Admiral the most, a simple breakfast consisting of 2 eggs any style (again perfectly poached), glistening, soft-yet-crispy strips of bacon, a scoop of grits and smoked poblano sauce to go over everything. It was tasty and filling–luckily I had two hours in the car to digest before we started our hike.
I look forward to returning to Lola — the service was quick and friendly, the environment fun, and most dishes hit the spot. All that and not even very expensive! My 4 friends and I split the check and ended up paying $20 each plus tip for our 5 cocktails, 3 apps and 3 entrees. Not bad for Saturday brunch.