Summer Eats: Lola's Cold Bar

May 2 2011, 12:30 PM

It’s not a stretch for me to say that Lola is one of my favorite warm-weather haunts. Although the food and prices are upscale, the place itself always feels casual and breezy, a little like an ocean-side eatery might. Perhaps that's why Lola opened a rather extensive raw bar just three months ago.

Tucked into a corner adjacent to the always-hopping indoor-outdoor bar, Lola’s cold bar offers nine menu items—only some of which succeed. Hitting all the right notes are the fresh oysters on the half shell served with a champagne-habanero mignonette and the sublime ahi carpaccio with salsa verde, chipotles, and olive oil.

The ceviche flight, however, misses the boat. Ceviche, no matter what main ingredient it employs, should showcase ultra-fresh ingredients and the piquant flavors of citrus. None of Lola’s versions—rock shrimp, bay scallop, or striped bass—exploded on the palate like you might expect. Likewise, the shrimp cocktail Veracruz was disappointing. Five oddly warm shrimp clung to a martini glass full of a tomato-based sauce with flavors that simply didn’t coalesce.

Lola's menu, however, still impresses, and a few less-than-spectacular dishes will not dissuade me from multiple return visits this summer.

1575 Boulder St., 720-570-8686