The meal was fantastic. Maybe I'm biased because I love watching Micheal Simon on tv, but the food here is yummy! My pork chop entree was so juicy and the mussels appetizer was good too, and only $7! My two favorite items from the meal were the crispy pork belly and the duck fat potatoes. I can't wait to come back!
While visiting Cleveland on business I was looking forward to trying out Michael's restaurants. I first tried out his B Spot restaurant. The burgers were very good, but I thought the portions were a little small for the prices. I did like some of the sauces he provides on the tables. The ShaSha sauce was GREAT!
Tonight I visited Lolita with some co-workers. I am sad to say that it was not good at all. The restaurant is in an old house that was done over very nice inside, but that is the only compliment I could honestly give. They have no parking. The setup is VERY crowded, and the noise level was very high. Except for the water boy our service was VERY slow.
We started out with the seared shrimp and roasted bone marrow appetizers. They sent out 5 quarter sized shrimp for a party of 3 for $8. The roasted bone marrow was a 4 inch long 1 inch diameter cow bone that had been sawed in half while frozen. They drowned it in olive oil and roast it. It was served with some pickled onions and a few chunks of very stale bread. The marrow had no taste except for the olive oil. Not much for value for $8 even if it had tasted good. Both of my co-workers had pizza, which they said was good. I had the special of the day which was trout, and the fried brussel sprouts as a side. The trout was about 10 to 12 ounces served skin on piled up in pieces in a very large bowl, not very pretty. I have had trout in lots of places, and I am sorry to say that this was the worst I have ever had. Good trout has an almost sweet taste to it. This had a VERY bitter fish taste, like it was old. The only other flavor that I could taste was again excess amounts of olive oil. I am not sure if the fried brussel sprouts was supposed to be blackened, but that is what I got. The burnt pieces were soaking in olive oil. They supposedly put capers, anchovies and walnuts in as well. I did taste a few nuts, but I did not notice any capers or anchovies.
I would have to say don’t waste your time or money here. Buy a bottle of olive oil and poor it on your McDonalds...it would be better. I will not bother going to his Lola restaurant.
So hyped, so very disappointing..
You walk in the door and are "greeted" by a doorgirl in her early 20s who stands behind a podium with a reservations book. She immediately asks if you have a reservation. Being that it is only 5pm and the door just opened 27 seconds ago, you will tell her no. She casts a disdainful look upon you and says superciliously, "Let me just go see if a table is available." You wonder why. The place is so empty, you can see tumbleweed blowing down the aisles.
Once you are seated, you are brought a basket of French rolls and a plate of olive oil with cracked black pepper. The bread is chilled as though just taken from the fridge. But you stop yourself short. This is Lolita! you tell yourself. This is a Special Place! So the bread is a little cold, so what.
"Something smells funny," your brain says when your pizza arrives. "No," you tell it, "This is Lolita. This is a special place. This is gourmet." You are well into chewing when you realize the funny smell is, in fact, your pizza. You force yourself to swallow, and chase it down with a large swig of ice water.
You try to talk yourself into taking another bite. You grimace at the prospect. A young, mild, creamy Fontina would have been perfect on this pizza. Too bad that whoever's in the kitchen couldn't be bothered to do that. Instead, they used a very, very aged Fontina that is about as pungent as that old wet rag you found in the bottom of the laundry chute last week. Your eyes water. Your mind wanders to that scene in the movie Big where a mentally-young Tom Hanks, having just eaten a mouthful of caviar, gags and coughs it up, then grabs his napkin and wipes his blackened tongue down to remove the taste. You wish you could do likewise. "Everything okay?" your partner asks. You nod your head yes. "This is a special place, isn't it?" you say.
Your dining partner, sensing your displeasure, informs the waitress that your food is not up to par. The waitress makes no attempt to offer amends or even ask what the problem is. Your partner asks to see the menu so as to order a different item. You order a different pizza.
While waiting for pizza #2, you decide to try the lemon poundcake. It arrives and is only slightly bigger than an Entenmann's Little Bite muffin, about 2 inches across. Squirted jauntily across the plate is a bitter, bitter lemon coulis. Too bad someone in the kitchen didn't know better than to include anything other than lemon zest in there. You and your partner eat the cake in three bites, and you realize you must pay $6 for those three bites.
Feeling quite ridiculous, you ask for your check. Pizza #2 arrives, thin as a matzoh and topped with a smear of sauce, four paper-thin circles of melted mozzarella, and two cherry tomatoes cut in half. Pizza #2 is $12. And then you see that your waitress did not remove the charge for pizza number one, and you must pay for them both. You wonder if you are the victim in an episode of Punk'd, but, alas, no cameramen come out from around the corner. You pay, and you walk out, vowing never to return.
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