Interestingly enough, I had never stopped into the Lemmon Avenue Mexican restaurant Lolita’s in the past. It is the restaurant in the location that has changed names many times in the past, and it becomes more of a night club later in the evenings, drawing a predominately Hispanic crowd. There have been mixed reviews in the past, but was recently tipped off that Lolita’s is doing a more refined plate with new ownership, and would be well worth my time to stop in for a visit. So I did.
Gone are the promised enchiladas, now replaced with a beautiful chile relleno (14). But not of the fried variety, instead this is poblano is roasted and stuffed zucchini, chorizo and Oaxacan cheese, and served with a side of cilantro-lime rice. And a perfectly grilled skin-on chicken breast, tender and juicy to the core.
You may still find kicked-up versions of queso, but it is now called la Flama Blanca (7) made with Chihuahua cheese and toasted chiles. Something real, and something substantial. There are a slew of other snacky items such as a perfect example of guacamole, a black drum ceviche (9), and a hard charred Michoacan-style plate of chicken wings (7), glazed to the max with guajillos and laden with a cotija cilantro crema.
There are also a few unusual soups and salads. Unusual for what we thought might be a Tex-Mex joint, but perfectly natural once we got the new theme of the menu. The cantaloupe gazpacho (4) accompanied with sprigs of mint, and a sprinkling of diced cucumber and onion was particularly refreshing on the sun-kissed August afternoon. Also as refreshing was the beet salad (8) with watercress, pickled onion, cotija cheese and a light dousing of a guajilla vinaigrette. The farmer salad (9) with whole roasted baby carrots avocado, oranges, radishes and toasted sesame seeds was also muy refresco, and a delightful change from iceberg madness. Bravo, Lolita!
You will find a nice selection of tacos, also given a breathtaking treatment, including barbacoa, carnitas and a fine example of chicken taco served with a pineapple-habanero pico de gallo. Be sure to add a side of elotes (5), served in the husk, all crazy creamy and delicious.
Well played, Lolita. We will be back, and ready for those 99 cent margaritas you boast about.