We then headed to Lola Cafe+Bar in Scout Lozano in Tomas Morato for our dinner. We got to the restaurant around 8pm. I've read in reviews how the restaurant is always filled with people, but I wasn't worried that we won't have any tables since I have already reserved a table for two while we were still at Gateway. :)
Lola Cafe+Bar has a nice laid back and homey feel with its cozy vibe and minimalistic design. The restaurant was comfy and spacious and has three dining areas.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will first notice their al fresco dining area. It's actually perfect for smokers but its garden-like setting outside is also perfect for people who wants to catch up and have some chit chat while having some rounds of drinks.
On the first floor is where you'll find the closed kitchen, bar counter, and four tables-for-two.
They also have a second floor area which features a wider space for bigger groups.
Mark and I were ushered to our seats with their friendly waiting staff. We were handed with the menu which we rummaged for what I thought was forever haha! Well there were actually only a few dishes in the menu but everything seemed delicious and very tempting that we had a hard time in choosing.
We started off with the drinks. Alcoholic beverages, juices, and sodas are available but Mark and I opted for their mocktails. There were two with BS (Best Seller) logos so we got both. Mark had Tosca while I had the Rio. Both concoctions were really good! The twist cap jars were such a nice and cool touch too. :)
Their Tosca which is a mixture of ginger, lime, soda, and apple juice somewhat had a complex flavor but it was surprisingly good and refreshing! I didn't expect that the hint of ginger would make all the difference. :)
Their Rio is a mixture of mint leaves, grapefruit, and apple juice. I liked that the acidity from the grapefruit was just light and the distinct taste of the apple juice was there which balances it off. It was at the same time very refreshing because of the flavor from the mint leaves.
Mark was the one who chose the entrees. He must have missed eating pork which is why he ordered Pork Chop, another dish with a BS logo. The dish is a single yet generous serving of grilled pork chop laid over a cup of steamed rice and steamed string beans. Simple as the dish may seem, this was a hit for Mark and I. The meat was already cut into thin strips making it easy to be forked out. The tender and juicy grilled pork was seasoned just right, tastes of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty were all balanced. The meat was very tender that I didn't mind eating even the fats haha! The string beans were also a perfect way to neutralize all the cholesterol. :p
I already saw kare-kare, another BS dish, in the list and I was sure that Mark would get one haha! :p Their version was just like the usual kare-kare with beef brisket, tripe, veggies, and that rich peanut sauce. What made this dish stand out were the beef brisket and tripe. They were cooked to perfection making them all tender to the bite. Their bagoong that came with it also tasted so good and made the dish more delectable. The serving is already good for sharing, and since the pork chop only had a cup of rice, Mark got another cup for the kare-kare.
I intentionally suggested that we dine at Lola Cafe+Bar on Mark's birthday because 1) we both like trying out new restaurants, and 2) I was dying to try their Tapa Benedicts! Hahaha! :p
I've read a lot of good reviews about Lola Cafe+Bar and their Tapa Benedicts was the one dish that got me drooling! The two pieces of English muffin with beef tapa and caramelized onion, tomatoes, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce were a heaven for my palates!
This dish is actually a twist on the usual breakfast favorite, the eggs benedict. Instead of ham or bacon, or sometimes salmon, they used generous strips of beef tapa. On top of the soft and chewy English muffin are beef strips which had the right amount of sweetness and saltiness and were really tender to the bite. Another hint of sweetness is also evident which is coming from the caramelized onions and a savory taste from the tomatoes. The poached egg and the hollandaise sauce also added a rich, creamy, savory flavor and texture to the dish. The contrast in flavors worked well altogether which I so loved! This is definitely a must-try!
Mark skipped the desserts section which gave me a light-bulb moment! Haha! :p After our orders were served, we asked the waiting staff to take a photo of us. I then asked the staff where the restroom was and excused myself from Mark for a while.
What Mark didn't know was that I sneaked upstairs not to go to the restroom but to speak with the waiting staff about my little surprise for the birthday boy. :p It was actually more of a peace offering for him since I knew he was a bit mad since I was moody the whole day. :p
I knew how Mark loves chocolates and I thought their Belgian Chocolate Cupcake would be a perfect birthday surprise.
And so after our dinner, and on my cue, the waiting staff went out with our desserts. :D Lola Cafe+Bar do not offer such things for birthday surprises (like staff singing birthday songs, or writing birthday greetings onto dessert plates), but they were at least able to provide a birthday candle. Though it wasn't the surprise that I had in mind, I'm glad that Mark loved it. :p
The chocolate cupcake with rich belgian chocolate ganache frosting was just plain and simple, yet looked so delectable. Though the cupcake itself wasn't as moist as I'd like it to be, I so loved the frosting! I even scraped off the ganache on the plate as I forked out the cupcake. :p You can never go wrong with chocolates, yes, and the cupcake was good, yes, but I think more moisture on the cupcake base would make this dessert a big hit! :)
Oh aside from the Tapa Benedicts, another dish that I'd love to try was their Pistachio Pavlova and so I also got an order of it. The dish comes in 3 crisp yet slightly chewy pistachio dacquoise, with creamy nutty pastry creme, topped with perfectly ripe mango and pistachio bits.
This one, I must say, is my favorite. The pistachio dacquoise was light and chewy (somewhat similar to a single macaron cookie) and with the right amount of sweetness. The cream was also light in flavor, not too sweet, and was perfect for the coarse base. The roughly chopped pistachio bits and sweet ripe mango bits on top of the cream gave the dish an interesting contrast in texture and sweetness which I just love. I just noticed though that in the reviews that I read online, their pistachio pavlova had a single large serving (as large as a saucer I think) but our order came in 3 cookie-sized pieces. But nevertheless, I still love this dessert!
Although getting there was a bit of a challenge, since it's located in the residential area in Scout Lozano in Quezon City, Mark and I enjoyed our dining experience at Lola Cafe+Bar because they serve really good comfort food.
Good food paired with an amazing homey ambience coupled with an excellent service, Lola Cafe+Bar is definitely a place that foodies should check out. Mark and I will definitely go back and try out their other specialties. I can't wait to get myself another serving of the Tapa Benedicts and Pistachio Pavlova! *drools* :)
99 Scout Lozano (near Scout Tuazon)
Tomas Morato, Quezon City
(02) 501 2620