Table for Two: A Coastal Mexican Affair at Lola

Photo by Teresa Taylor

PjhRNB7e34YI4T348EuKO6AuGGz2BfV2GxfqZOOjd90What: Lola

Where: 1575 Boulder Street, Denver

Don’t Miss: Their beachy ocean aroma will make you feel like you’re on vacation close to home.

With its variety-filled menu, extensive cocktail list and excellent service, Lola is truly a urban gem. A restaurant that prides itself on their “coastal Mexican” menu, Lola continues to provide a beachy ocean atmosphere in the heart of the Lower Highlands. Adding events such as “Street Taco Tuesdays”  and live music to their Sunday afternoons makes Lola the perfect date spot any day of the week.

tknX5DXKNYGM9HyUmqrbdGY9qSjCDDna2mzB6pTDzaQBoasting a drink menu with over 200 tequilas to chose from, Lola has the largest tequila selection in the city. They have creatively used this to their advantage with a coin style margarita menu and an array of hand crafted cocktails. Obviously intrigued by the name, I chose the Drug Mule. The Drug Mule’s barrel rested republic blanco, fresh lime, sage infused agave nectar mixed with ginger beer and made this a light yet flavor-packed drink. Always a whiskey drinker, my boyfriend got the Small Batch Swindler. This Leopold Bros small batch whiskey cocktail didn’t seem like the likely choice to go with Mexican food. However, the fact that it was mixed with grilled lemon-ginger syrup, lemon, and soda made for a refreshing summer drink that worked perfectly with the rest of the meal.
If you were looking for somewhere to take a date that was casual and not stuffy, you’re in luck. Lola has a huge selection of small plates to choose from, including appetizers for the table and a ceviche bar. For our ceviche choice, our server recommended the Tuna Poke (pronounced po-kay). Even if you aren’t a fan of ahi tuna, you will be surprised at how easily this dish melts in your mouth. This was by far some of the best seafood I’ve had in the city. The tuna was combined with sweet chile, pineapple, avocado and serrano peppers . It was a flavor-filled combination of spicy and sweet. We gobbled the entire plate up in record time. The Tuna Poke, Salsa Sampler, and  the Lola Guacamole made table side would have been enough, but since that’s not how we roll, it was time to bring on the entrees.

puQ4vG1tGwHHfAGrvy4SG2cdQRLP34XrjkZAy2uEU14Lola’s special that evening was a pan roasted Idaho red trout, served with a tomatillo agave glaze and ancho chili-sweet potato puree. The trout was cooked to perfection and the puree had a smoky flavor that complemented the fish. Our server also informed us that they just changed the Pork Carnitas recipe within the last month so we decided to give it a try as well. Their carnitas had the consistency of pulled pork and were served with jalapeño slaw and frijoles borachos, which were black beans simmered in Dos Equis amber ale. We were also lucky enough to try a taste of the Pan Roasted Corvina which did not disappoint. I’d highly recommend all of these dishes, and luckily they are easy to share.

As if the date couldn’t get any better, we were informed that their dessert menu featured Salted Oreo ice cream from the notorious Little Man Ice Cream next door. Little Man always has a line around the block, so you could imagine how good this was.

Since the Lower Highlands have become the newest Denver hot spot, the choices of restaurants can be so overwhelming that it may be hard to choose when you are preparing for a date. Lola offers a laid back ambiance and will impress even the pickiest food enthusiast. We are now just excited to become regulars at this coastal Mexican haven.

All photos provided by 303 Magazine Photographer Teresa Taylor.

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