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Lola’s Kitchen and Wine Bar

Max's Kitchen

Lola’s Kitchen & Wine Bar
180 W. Park Ave.
Long Beach, NY 11561

I had heard about Lola’s for a while before I decided to check it out. Maybe it was because all of the rave reviews I was hearing were coming from my girlfriend and her friends, but I was expecting a ‘Sex In The City” comes to Long Beach sort of vibe, not exactly my cup of tea. Yes, there ended up being a fair share of girlfriends out enjoying a bottle of wine (or four…), but overall Lola’s menu and atmosphere is built to please guy and girl alike.

Lola’s decor is very Floridian in it’s charm. The lush greenery in the barroom, the spanish tile roof and the neon blue sign that greets you at the door immediately call to mind a trendy restaurant in Miami Beach.

The vibrancy that this atmosphere creates seemed to translate into the overall mood of the restaurant. The patrons were a bit boisterous, which was fine for the bar but kind of a turnoff when we sat down for dinner. If its packed when you arrive, and you’re hoping to enjoy a quite conversation over your meal, do yourself a favor and ask to be seated outside. This may not be helpful advice as we approach winter time, but keep it in mind when the weather starts to warm up again.

The staff is another strong aspect of the restaurant. Our waitress was very accommodating when we switched tables (due to the aforementioned noise inside), and was present throughout the night without being overbearing. The manager also came to our table multiple times to chat, something that probably wasn’t easy to do considering how busy the place was. He even remembered us when we went back a week later, and again made the effort to visit our table even though the place was packed.

Max's Kitchen

We went for the Wednesday night wine tasting deal, which consists of three full glasses of wine (would be about $8 ea.), soup or salad (would be between $6 and $10) an appetizer (would be between $8 and $13) and an entree (would be between $17 and $20). When all is said and done, you end up with between $39 and $67 worth of food for $30. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, especially when taking into consideration the quality of food and wine you’re getting.

For appetizers, my dinner companion and I split the “Kung Pao” Calamari and the Pernil Tortillas, of which I would recommend the latter. The calamari was good, although the sauce may have been a touch on the syrupy side, but I’m a sucker for pulled pork (which they slow cook for 7 hours) and guacamole in general, so this plate already had a one up. My favoritism aside, if your feelings towards pulled pork are anything better than mild aversion, I would say give this dish a chance. Chef Livingston definitely knows his way around a slow cooker.

Our salads came out about thirty seconds after the appetizer plates were cleared, another sign of their excellent service. They tasted freshly prepared, not as if they had been sitting in the back or pre-made. I opted for the Baby Organic Greens and my dinner companion went with the Granny Smith Apple Salad. Both were very good, again I would probably go with the latter next time I eat there. The white balsamic vinaigrette had a pleasant sweetness to it, and when combined with the bleu cheese crumbles complimented the apples nicely.

For the main course, we got Chicken Portobello, which could have used a bit more portobello mushrooms but was excellent otherwise, and the Grilled Hangar Steak. We could have used a bit more steak too, not because of small portions but because it was so damn good. Each bite melted in your mouth and it was cooked to my very definition of medium well. I can’t think of one thing I would have changed about the dish, and along with the Pernil Tortillas, it will end up being something I will definitely order again on a future visit.

The food was amazing, the wine superb, and the service couldn’t have been better. We even opted for dessert despite neither of us being big on sweets, and the flour-less cake was well worth the splurge.

Max's Kitchen

I do however have two tips that could optimize your experience at Lola’s. First, go on a nice evening when you can sit outside. As I mentioned earlier it tends to get a little loud in the inside dining room on busy nights. Second, order something that has to do with pork or red meat. No knock on the rest of the food, but the Pernil Tortillas and Hangar Steak were clearly the stars of the meal and I’m willing to bet these types of dishes are where this restaurant excels overall.

Submitted by reader Richard J Nardo

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This post was written by:

- who has written 33 posts on LB Foodie.

I have lived in the West End of Long Beach for about 17 years now.

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One Response

  1. Edna says:

    Fairly good food with decent sized portions.  BUT, the time between placing your order and receiving the meal is 'forever'.   Is it worth the wait?

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