In 1989, I was a 12-year-old 8th grader with very big hair (we’re talking at least a half can of Rave hairspray used to hold my bangs in place) and an obsession for French-cuffed acid washed jeans and New Kids on the Block. In the spring of that year, my sister took my mom’s station wagon (the SS Esther as we would call it) and took me and my friends to dinner at Pizza Hut followed by the New Kids concert at the old Coliseum.
Cut to 2008, 19 years later. I’m now 32, 30 weeks pregnant, no longer sport the wall of bangs or cuffed jeans, but somehow (and I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit this) found myself back at the New Kids concert with my friends – although this time, Lola was wisely chosen over Pizza Hut (and my sister didn’t need to drive).
Let’s just say I was more excited about the dinner and being with my friends than the actual concert. Although it was fun to be 12 again for a night, my music tastes have (thankfully) improved and I just felt silly being this preggers at a concert. Luckily, there’s never a bad time for dinner at Lola.
I love this restaurant. I actually enjoy it more now then I did at its original location. I’ve talked about the space numerous times in previous posts (even the bathroom!), but it really is one of the most beautifully designed restaurants around. And our meal and service were equally as impressive.
To start off, my one friend and I split the haloumi (Greek cheese) and melon appetizer with mint and almonds, and the heirloom tomato salad with arugula, frisee, basil and two mini blue cheese croguettes.
I especially enjoyed the haloumi and melon. The salty flavor and texture of this cheese paired wonderfully with the sweet watermelon. Sweet and salt – my favorite combination. Beautifully presented and incredibly enjoyable.
For my meal, I went with the braised short ribs with root vegetables and gremolata. Surprisingly, I often hear people say they are disappointed by the portion sizes at Lola. If that’s the case, clearly they haven’t had this dish because the portion size was rather impressive – even for someone who is pregnant.
Overall, the ribs were incredibly tender (no knife needed) and flavorful. The perfect fall meal. While I genuinely enjoyed each bite, I wouldn’t say they were my favorite (that distinction still goes to Crush in Seattle) but I would happily order again and again.
For dessert, we finished with the strawberry shortcake and a trio of cheeses. The small bite of the shortcake I had was wonderful, but for me, cheese will always win. A great selection put together by our server, which of course I can’t recall.
In general, I have to say I am really impressed with that whole area and need to get down more often. And very soon, there will be the addition of The Greenhouse Tavern and our friend’s coffee shop, two places that will undoubtedly do well and I know we’ll frequent often.
So was it the best concert I’ve ever been to? Not even close (that would be a tie between Pearl Jam and Paul McCartney). But as silly as I may have felt, I did have fun stepping back in time for a few hours and especially enjoyed our fabulous meal at Lola – which was definitely the highlight of the evening for me. That, and looking at all the 30-something women try and fit into their original concert tees from 1989!