Small plates.... Hmm, a seemingly hipster fadish approach that seems so 2013. Yet, I absolutely love the concept, especially when each dish is punctuated with rich and assertive flavours.
For KW's annual bonus treat to his parents, we had lunch at Lolla - a place I will admit we only went to by process of elimination. Lolla opened to much fanfare last year so it made sense - to us, at least - to visit the restaurant post-hoopla. Thankfully, it lived up to its hype and we really enjoyed the grub churned out by the three light-footed beings behind the kitchen counter.
"Better than Esquina," whispered KW.
I felt a surge of national pride when KW said that; patriotism kicks in at the oddest of times, I guess. I nodded - I would have continued the conversation if I hadn't been busy lapping up every bit of squid ink pudding.
The bottarga-topped scrambled eggs was delectably luscious and savoury - breakfast at its Mediterranean finest. I usually scoff at brunch food but this happily make me eat my words.
The gratinated leek fondant was a cubby little pot of cheesy, unctuous deliciousness.
The Spanish tortilla, stuffed with duck fat potatoes and topped with smoked eel, was a dressed-up filler. It was unusual but not something I would order again given how good the other dishes were.
One of the specials of the day was a winter salsify salad that had been roasted and dressed in a gorgeous gremolata. It seemed so simple yet I found myself going back for more and swiping the plate clean of any vinaigrette.
As I have mentioned before, with my in-laws, it hardly counts as a celebration until a bloody piece of steak presents itself for sacrifice.
While it can't be compared to the dry-aged beauties at speciality steakhouses, the grass-fed ribeye steak was spot-on pink and satisfying to a tee.
It might seem odd to show you a picture of the baguette and Echire butter but halfway through the meal, we realised bread would have been an extremely useful tool in mopping up every damn thing. Get yours at the start of the meal and save yourself the pain of seeing sauces and smears gone to waste.
We continued with desserts elsewhere as our corner seats were given away and the counter seating plus Top 40s hits made it hard to converse. Nonetheless, Lolla is a lovely spot to check out if you only have a plus-one or you feel just one-derful on your own.