Located on Dartmouth Street in Paparazzi’s old location, it’s easy to pass right by Lolita’s small and modest entrance. However once you walk inside you are undoubtedly in Back Bay’s newest and trendiest Mexican ‘cocina & tequila bar’. The long main bar is constantly 2-3 people deep and the back lounge/bar – fit with sofas, chairs, and stools – tends to fill up as the night goes on. I had been twice before for drinks and apps and was excited to dive into their extensive menu.
Bread: In replacement of the bread basket we were of course served chips with 4 different salsas – 3 served together on a square plate and the other brought in a bottle. I wish we had been warned about the queso-looking dip in the center – it was not a typical cheese queso as it was insanely hot! My mouth was on fire longer than I would have liked, but I was pleased with the variety of accompaniments.
Menu: Primero, Tacos, Sopa & Ensalada, Quesadillas, Tres Ceviches, Enchiladas, Vertical Nachos, Principal, Sancho (sides), Guacamole. Quite the selections to choose from! I basically wanted something from almost every section. I knew we’d be ordering guacamole, so I bypassed my craving for the Tortilla Soup and just ordered the Pulled Pork Tacos.
Food/Presentation: We were first brought an aperitif: a small steaming bowl of grapefruit pieces, topped with tequila and 4 tiny spoons. I had a taste but it was taken away before we could enjoy the whole thing!
Fresco Guacamole: fresh avocado, tomato, serrano chile, diced onion & cilantro
It’s very rare for me to taste a guac that I don’t like. Needless to say this bowl was gone in minutes. Next time I’ll have to try the “Especial Guac” filled with jumbo lump crab, Atlantic lobster, and garlic-wine butter drizzle!
Pulled Pork Tacos: seared crispy with salsa verde
Three soft shelled tacos were served filled with pork and grilled red peppers. The meal was great but I was expecting “pulled pork” as the menu stated, and as you can see from the photo these were pieces/chunks of pork which is very different. Slightly disappointed…
Bananarama: crisp fried banana-caramel cheesecake burritos with deep chocolate ice cream, butterscotch sauce, and pecan brittle
We so did not need dessert, but in the spirit of Ariane’s birthday we had no choice 🙂 I didn’t exactly get a sense of “cheesecake” in this dessert, but these burritos were right up my alley. Crispy and FULL of banana, I could have had this all to myself.
Buenas Notes: warm deep chocolate-espresso bread pudding with coffee ice cream, brown sugar caramel, and hot fudge sauce
The “bread pudding” had more of a brownie texture but it was still incredible, especially with that coffee ice cream. Heavy and filling, thank goodness there were 4 of us!
Sour Apple Cotton Candy with Cherry Pop-Rocks
Like we needed more sweets! In my previous Lolita experiences I remember eyeing the cotton candy I’d seen making it’s way from table to table. At first I thought it was a dessert option but I quickly learned it was complimentary – Lolita’s version of an after-dinner mint, served before we were given the check. I was delighted but noticed that many other tables left this large portion to go to waste.
Bathroom: In keeping with the dark, red, gothic theme, the bathroom has printed wallpaper, 3 individual black sinks, black shutter doors on each of the 5 stalls. Pardon my photo of the toilet, but how can you NOT take a picture of that crazy paisley print? A bit small for this constantly crowded establishment (the stalls are directly behind the sinks), but the full length mirror and the facecloth ‘napkins’ adds points.
Wait Staff: When we arrived we were told the wait was 30-45mins. When we checked back in 45 mins later we were told we were going to have to wait another 45 mins. My friend explained to them “No thank you. You told us that 45 mins ago!” so they tippity-tapped their fancy Reservations App on their iPad and assured us it would only be another 25 mins. Ugh, they’re lucky they can provide delicious sangria to keep me company.
Our waiter was “pissy” to start off the night, not making eye contact and acting like he didn’t give a damn. We were about to write him off but he later apologized for his mood and started acting more playful/friendly – we ended the night adoring him!
Overall: Trendy. Dark. Swanky. Gothic. Or if you’re Ariane you refer to it as a “vampire den”. Whatever you want to call it, you’re not going to Lolita for a quiet casual evening. The place is constantly packed so make a reservation if you plan on eating (only allowed if you have a party of 6 or more – annoying). I’m not a tequila fan so I avoided the 7 margarita options, but the Rojo Sangria is excellent (although one of the cheaper cocktails at $9). There’s plenty of food I still want to try so I’ll be back in the future, although it strikes me more as a winter spot considering there’s no windows or sunlight of any kind!
The Perfect Bite: The guac was excellent but I think (almost) every guacamole is amazing. My entrée was good but the menu lied to me making me believe I’d be served PULLED pork… so I’ll have to say the Bananarama dessert.