Entering Loló is like walking into a hoarder’s psychedelic fever dream. In a good way. The walls are covered with car doors adorned with mirrored windows and rhinestone horseshoes, paper hats, and tropical beachscapes, while dozens of plastic dogs stand watch over the open kitchen. The chandeliers are tassled bike handles. It’s insane. This is Lolo’s new space on Valencia, and it’s is bigger and better than the old spot -better mostly because more tables means you’re more likely to get one without too long of a wait.
The food, Mexican with a few twists and turns, is mostly really good, albeit pretty heavy. While plates are made to share, it’s best to come with at least three or four people so you can try lots of things. The fried brussels sprouts, in particular, are worthy of obsessing over, but, Pace. Yo. Self. There are a ton of fried, sauced items on the menu that are worth saving room for.
But the best thing about Loló, and the thing that keeps bringing us back, is that it’s the kind of place that really feels like it’s run by the kitchen. With pretty serious food and the aforementioned decor, this is certainly not the burrito shop around the corner, but the smell of fresh tortillas filling the air and actual Mexican music on the stereo lend a certain cred to this place that’s tough to fake. It’s nice to go to a spot that feels like it’s actually run by the people serving the food, not a restaurant group conglomerate that’s plotting its latest obscure, possibly extinct animal & old-timey profession gastropub. The rhinestone horseshoes are just a finishing touch.
Step it up guys. These are weak, out of a bag chips. The green salsa is nice and spicy, but the red one is watery.
The stuff of dreams and deep fryers. These are absurdly good. I hate hazelnuts and somehow I was eating them with glee with these sprouts.
Crispy on the outside, and crazy creamy on the inside. They probably don’t need to use Dungeness crab, but they do, so, great for those guys. The “pepper reduction” they come with, which we would describe as “sauce” is very tasty too.
Served up with some artsy mini tortillas, this plate has just the right amount of citrus and is the lightest thing you’ll consume all night. We could eat a few bowls of it.
Two mini burgers with a super-rich mushroom sauce with toasty brioche buns. Not Mexican in any discernible way, but pretty tasty.
Excellent tortillas, one piece of slightly seared tuna with a slice of avocado and fresh salsa. Two per order, two bites per taco, these are worth your time.
Way too much aioli and panko. Some people are into them, but they’re basically a way you could trick a toddler into eating shrimp. Bright colors, shiny things, FRIED.
Solid, solid carnitas. The guacamole that comes with is great too and the homemade tortillas take this up a few points. Pickled onions are an underutilized ingredient, just saying.