Food Porn Friday | Lola Gaspar | DTSA

Friday, September 06, 2013


I remember first discovering Lola Gaspar years ago, before downtown Santa Ana became this trendy burgeoning hipster haven for locals and young artists alike.
  Before the Playground and Chapter One: The Modern Local put their definitive stamp on gastropub cuisine, before Yost theater beckoned the ravers and club-goers alike with pulsating electronic dance music, really before any of the 3 block radius of Broadway became any broader. Lola Gaspar was there paving the way for this soon to be SCORCHING street scene. With all the hot and heavy competition well under way, I’m saddened to say that Lola’s gone down a few notches on my epicurean Richter scale and here’s why:

Smoked bacon wrapped dates with stuffed bleu cheese: They were the first (for me) to fine-tune such a bar crawl staple so much of this review is nostalgic now what everyone and their mamas offers this plate. The smoky essence of the lightly honey-glazed bacon envelops the savory mushy center of the cheese. A perfect combo of sweet and salty, still one of my FAVE flavor profiles to enjoy. The honey mustard smear is a generous touch to temper the brine. Still hits the spot.

Cast-iron queso and chorizo fundido with warm chips: I wished they would have used chunkier cuts of chorizo with this queso allowing each dip to gather a meaty bite. Instead, the chopped up bits were lost in the sea of cheese and all that remains is the promise of what coulda been…*le sigh* Am I the only foodie out there who half-expects the dish to contain that ingredient in strides once it’s been advertised as so? Eh, next!


Bloomsdale spinach, shaved apple, feta, and toasted pepitas: I love a good, hearty warm salad especially when dining alfresco. Comfort food at its finest when it’s light and just a tad savory. The toasted pumpkin seeds add the perfect amount of crunch to this salad with roasted pumpkin as its main feature. Very autumnal, perfect for this transitional period of our canicular summer.

Cauliflower, chimmi, citron yogurt, and bread crumb: Beautifully prepared with gorgeous summer colors to whet your appetite. I can still taste the sweet caramelized onions and tangy yogurt spread. Although my one gripe would be that it wasn’t spicy enough. Come to think of it every dish lacked a little spice so we had to request some sriracha on the side. Hope the chef wasn’t too offended but come on dude, we Asian, whattya expect??

House special prawns (daily special off-menu item): I thought the tomato-based sauce was a tad too runny for such a hearty seafood dish, like a cross between broth and soup but not quite either in consistency. Love all the colors but not a memorable dish by any means.

Frenchie mac and cheese with confit duck meat, and toasted breadcrumb. Now that they’ve taken their ever-so-famous duck confit fries off the menu, this is the next best thing. Super rich mac and cheese coagulates a few minutes upon arrival. Best if eaten immediately but with a party of 12 girls that was easy-peasy on our part.

Chorizo and Prosciutto flatbreads: Another 5 minutes in the oven and these flatbreads could be divine. The dough was a bit undercooked for my preference falling at the seams with such heavy hitters to hold onto. You’d have to fold each piece in half to save it from a complete meltdown. The flavors are there but execution fell flat. (Ha! Just reread that, no pun intended) 

Prawn house tacos, cured chorizo and potato, 1000 sauce, and fresh herbs: Overstuffed with protein, love that they didn’t skimp on the filling. The 1000 island sauce made for an interesting mix with the salty chorizo, not my favorite since I reserve that dressing strictly for In n’ out burgers.

Crispy buffalo duck leg with buttermilk-bleu dip, and cider-vinegar slaw: Tastes like it looks. Like a honkin’ piece of buffalo drumstick for giants without the much-needed kick. Very mild in comparison to a typical buffalo sauce so definitely ask for additional hot sauce on the side.

Lola Gaspar
211 W. 2nd St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 972-1172

*Insider’s tip: Lola Gaspar is located on a quaint alley in the artists village of downtown Santa Ana. With lush landscaping, beautiful foliage, and a gorgeous outdoor fountain nearby, try reserving your table on the patio to enjoy all the sights and sounds. Outdoor string lights illuminate your alfresco adventure so equal parts festive for groups and romantic for date night. If you’ve never been to this area, try booking a table in advance on the first Saturday of every month when the Santa Ana Artwalk is also in full swing. Dinner at Lola’s and a quick stroll around the promenade is sure to make for quite a magical evening.*

Hope everyone's doing something super fun for our last few weeks of summer!
Thank GOD it's FRIDAY!!!!

Bon appétit mes amis!

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3 comments

  1. zomg! I'm trying to keep from eating cause it's so late here, but i keep seeing delicious food everywhere!!

    -liv
    http://chocolivlovelaugh.blogspot.kr/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, I am officially starving now! Those bacon wrapped dates sounds AMAZING!

    Hope you have a great weekend! :)

    ♡jilly
    sorelle in style

    ReplyDelete

Give it to me...gimme that funk, that sweet, that gushy stuff

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