If San Diego is known for anything, it’s tacos. Sitting just a quick 20-mile drive from Tijuana, mouthwatering Mexican cuisine is not hard to come by in America’s Finest City. But healthy(ish) Mexican cuisine? That’s different story.
Cue LOLA 55. Come mid-July in Downtown San Diego’s East Village, this 3,200-square-foot space is combining local, organic ingredients and Mexican-inspired healthy menu options to form a “fast-fine casual” eating experience. From chef Drew Bent and restaurateur Frank Vizcarra (both previously from Tender Greens), LOLA 55 is putting a contemporary twist on authentic Mexican food.
Taco ’bout Tacos
Served with your choice of seven different sides and seasonal agua frescas, Drew’s menu of 10 tacos is brimming with unique and quality ingredients. Think far past your basic chicken taco order — we’re talking Mesquite Grilled Carne Asada, Achiote Pork Belly, and Soyrizo/Sweet Potato.
Oh, and Baja Style Fish. Pulled straight from the waters of our backyards, this local fish is seasoned with herbs, cooked over an open flame, and served straight to you in taco form with frisee (basically fancy lettuce), pickled serrano peppers, and purple basil.
Frank, who was born in Tijuana, and Drew are teaming up to ensure these unique dishes and the ingredients in them are as true to Mexican culture as possible. All tacos are served on five-inch handmade tortillas with classic flavors like pollo asada and carnitas, as well as touches of more modern Mexican cuisine in the presentation. “We are sourcing the best ingredients we can,” Drew told the San Diego Reader, “and using traditional and modern techniques to create a cuisine that’s rich in flavor, but light on the belly.”
Open Space, Happy Place
LOLA 55 will have glass walls and 20-foot ceilings, making you feel as close to outdoors as possible with the comfort of being inside on those rare rainy nights in SD. With an open kitchen and cocktail bar, the space will feel even larger than its walls. Not to mention, its young and inspiring vibe will fit right in at the new I.D.E.A. District in the East Village.
And with the summer heat slowly creeping its way through that nasty June Gloom, you can come soak up the late afternoon sunlight and feel good about the tacos you’re putting in your body Tuesday nights. That’s a first, right?