Unexpected rains and an unexpected new find, it was definitely one of those days when the unexpected seemed most welcome...
Hidden along one of the many narrow streets crossing Tomas Morato is a cool culinary gem, secluded by lush gardens from the busy commercial strip. So near, yet one feels so far away. It's discovering places like these that add so much pleasure to dining and tasting the cool dishes at LoLa Cafe+Bar.
Located in the predominantly residential Scout area in Quezon City, LoLa Cafe+Bar offers its own unique take on comfort food, serving up familiar flavors and reinventing old favorites with refreshing twists.
A converted residential space, LoLa Cafe+Bar's interiors are comfortably spacious, with both lower and upper dining areas plus al fresco dining as well. Simple, clean lines, yet modern and contemporary, the place provides a dramatic stage for its culinary creations.
Before the meal, we were served some of LoLa's mocktails like the Rio (P 120), a refreshing blend of mint leaves, grapefruit and apple juice...
...other mocktails include the Tosca (P 120), a cool mix of ginger, lime, soda and apple juice...
...and the Beliz (P 120), a sweet concoction of passion fruit juice, basil and soda, all served in twist cap jars, another cool touch. Off to a good start...
Then, the first of many dishes arrived. First up, we sampled some of LoLa Cafe+Bar's popular appetizers, the Camembert Cheese (P 350), topped with caramelized onions and grilled honey green apples served with crostini.
Crisp on the outside, soft and creamy inside, a perfect blend of flavors and textures. Add some sweet caramelized onions and grilled honey green apples with the camembert on the crostini, and...yum.
Next, LoLa's Salad (P 230), mixed greens drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with crisp bacon and poached egg. The greens were fresh and crisp, and the sharp vinaigrette and creamy egg provide flavorful contrasts, while the crisp bacon completes the dish.
Next, something familiar with a delicious twist. LoLa Cafe+Bar's unique take on the traditional breakfast favorite, Tapa Benedict (P 350), English Muffins topped with tender beef tapa, caramelized onions, poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
The hollandaise sauce and poached eggs add a comforting richness to the dish, and I wouldn't mind having this all day.
The caramelized onions and tender beef tapa works well, a cool alternative to the usual smoked salmon or bacon, or ham. I really wouldn't mind having this all day...
And LoLa Cafe+Bar continues to surprise with its Spicy Tinapa Pasta (P 185), with smoked fish, chili flakes, fresh tomatoes and olive oil.
The smoky fish flakes, zesty tomatoes and chili combine for a uniquely flavored pasta dish, with contrasting flavors in one dish that work so well together.
Tartufo Pasta (P 260), with rich cream sauce, truffle oil and portobello mushrooms. Rich and creamy with the subtle nutty mushroom flavor. And you can smell the truffle oil as the dish is delivered to your table.
Kare-Kare (P 350), with tender beef brisket, tripe and vegetables in a rich peanut sauce, familiar and comforting, and old favorite done well.
And again, LoLa Cafe+Bar continues to surprise with its inventive fusion of flavors, the Kimchi Kaldereta (P 380), a unique twist on the traditional kaldereta with spicy kimchi, and the combination really works. The sharp kimchi adds that delicious kick to the rich tomato sauce. Familiar, yet new and different.
Chef Maegan Chua, the young creative force behind LoLa Cafe+Bar's inventive comfort food, heads the kitchen. Special thanks to Andre Chua and Chef Maegan Chua for an awesome lunch. A cool find, dining at LoLa Cafe+Bar deserves a second visit for its unique take on comfort food and desserts. Did I mention desserts? Stay tuned for another post on LoLa Cafe+Bar's unique desserts...
LoLa Cafe+Bar is located at 99 Scout Lozano near Scout Tuazon, Tomas Morato, Quezon City or call 501-2620 for inquiries and reservations.
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