PALM BEACH_The last time Pam and I were at Lola 41 in Palm Beach, we weren't able to take advantage of the restaurant's inviting outdoor patio, which was closed as workers completed the adjacent White Elephant Hotel (you can read about it HERE) .
On a return trip this week, it was available, and the ideal place to enjoy the end of another perfect Florida day amid lush landscaping and striped umbrellas. Since that first visit, Lola 41 has established itself as the place to go for globally-inspired cuisine, sushi and friendly service in a setting that is both glamorous and casual.
As the summer "off season" settles in, Lola 41 has brought back "Sushi Sundays," where from 5-10 pm diners can get "buy-one-get-one free" sushi rolls (equal or lesser value), including classic, traditional and specialty rolls.
Also new, they have added a daily Happy Hour, and who doesn't like that? It's from 4-6 pm, and features 50 per cent off house liquor, beer, wines by the glass and signature cocktails, along with $10 sushi rolls and small plate selections -- such as Spicy Edamame, Skirt Steak Tacos, Duck Buns and Cantonese Style Pork Pot Sticks.
When I arrived for my 7 pm reservation, the complimentary valet attendant was missing or otherwise busy, so I found street parking nearby.
On this visit, I would be dining solo (Pam had another engagement), so what better way to start than a libation from their "Featured Cocktails" menu. It was a tough choice, but I settled on "Midnight in Paris," which combined Ketel One, Lillet Rose, lemon and raspberry ($18). Served in a tall glass by Brenda, my friendly and attentive waitperson, it set just the right mood for a warm Palm Beach evening.
Other intriguing cocktails were named "A Shameful Memory" and "The Rum Also Rises," with apologizes to Hemingway, although the noted author would feel right at home here.
For an appetizer, I went with a "Lola Classic," the aforementioned pork pot sticks ($21). I actually had them on a previous visit and decided to stay with a winner. They come hot-out-of-the-fryer with a delicious ginger scallion dipping sauce.
Zeroing in on an entree was tough -- so many choices, many Asian-inspired. I finally decided on the Pan Fried Yellow Tail Snapper, served with toasted coconut jasmine rice, candied mango, prepared in an orange brown sugar gastrique with smoked paprika oil ($42). As a lover of sweet, the sauce was divine, as was the rice. My fish was artfully presented and delicately crusted, and more than I could eat. Cue Brenda to the rescue with a take-home bag.
They don't have a dessert menu, but Brenda was pleased to recite the list of three options. The Key Lime Pie was tempting, but I ultimately chose the Tres Leches sponge cake. Let me just say the combination of cake, whipping cream and strawberries in a decadent cream sauce was out-of-this-world good. Another to-go bag, please!
Lola 41 is located at the corner of Sunset Avenue and Bradley Park in Palm Beach, at the same address as the White Elephant Hotel. You can find all their menu choices, along with more information, at their website, www.lola41.com.
Look for a future report on their Happy Hour. There are more summer cocktails and small plates we'll need to try. --Gerry Barker
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."