HOME > Chowhound > Dallas - Fort Worth >

Lola versus Bijoux

j
jess1 Aug 4, 2009 08:48 AM

Hello. My boyfriend's birthday is next week and I wanted to treat him to a special dinner. I am really interested in a good tasting room. He has already eaten at the French Room and Nana, so those are ruled out. Based on location and reviews, I have narrowed it down to either Lola or Bijoux.

Although, both of us enjoy wine with our dinner, we are by no means wine connoisseurs. Therefore, wine is not a deciding factor for us. The most important qualities are GREAT food that is creative and inventive (we both enjoy trying new dishes), good service (attentive but not overbearing) and an intimate and relaxing atmosphere. We are also not into the Dallas "scene" so a place that is less pretentious would be a plus.

Any recent experiences, pros/cons, etc. are appreciated. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. v
    vstock RE: jess1 Aug 4, 2009 09:00 AM

    If you are open to looking at other restaurants, I might suggest York Street. They focus on local, fresh ingredients. Most of the time have many off menu suggestions (even though the menu changes frequently). If you call ahead, I would imagine anything can be accomodated. The service was spot on and their creativity was tremendous. The restaurant has 12-14 tables so it is intimate and relaxing. It is also not a "scene" place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: vstock
      j
      jindomommy RE: vstock Aug 4, 2009 09:11 AM

      I think Sharon Hage is a pretty good chef. IMO, not James Beard award winning, but still fairly solid. In San Francisco or NYC, she would just be another good chef. (Okay...I know...this is going to upset Chowhounders, so let the rants begin). However, I refuse to go back to York Town due to the small space. The space is NYC small. I think the Lola tasting menu is a pretty good deal when compared to Nana. I have not been to Bijoux, but friends say it has a stuffier atmosphere.

      1. re: caseys
        j
        jindomommy RE: caseys Aug 4, 2009 03:53 PM

        For haute cuisine, Anthony Bombaci has some serious skill and maybe Tim Love (just because his cuisine is different from what is readily available in those two cities...however, he did not fair so well on Top Chef Masters). And I'm not huge fans of Fearing or Pyles, but they definitely have their own vibe going. I'm pretty confident those four chefs could open shop anywhere and do well. Then when we start getting into ethnic, I'm going to guess there are some culinary masters on Jefferson Blvd. who could teach the best NY or SF chef a thing or two.

        1. re: jindomommy
          k
          kersplat RE: jindomommy Aug 4, 2009 09:09 PM

          Aw shucks I was starting to think, and hope, you had some actual foodie cred...alas.
          NYC sent Tim Love packing, his tail between his legs. His NYC Lonesome Dove shuttered not long after the following no-star ("satisfactory") review from the NY Times:
          http://events.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/...

          I happen to think Avner Samuel would be an outstanding chef anywhere in the world, as would David Uygur or Teiichi Sakurai. And my many meals at Boulevard hasn't been that much better than those at York Street. Pyles and Fearing should be given credit for wisdom, as in they were wise not to stray beyond their own turf. Fearing would fall utterly flat on his face without his local lemmings who still think he actually invented that tortilla soup and those lobster tacos. And let's not get ahead of ourselves regarding those "culinary masters" on Jefferson. I enjoy and admire the heck out of their work, but as much for their not pandering to American palates as for masterful execution. And of course they're the best we've got here in North Texas. But would they be the among the best from their home states?

          1. re: kersplat
            j
            jindomommy RE: kersplat Aug 5, 2009 10:14 AM

            Really? I've heard the term "foodie," but the term always appears to be self-annointed by those who espouse the latest food trends like the 90's sundried tomatoes or more recently ahi tartare. I like to eat. Period. I'm only discussing how any of the above referenced chefs would fair on the West and East coasts of America. Whether they would be able to open up a restaurant and do well. My point was that Sharon Hage's cuisine is a paler version of SF and NYC cuisine. In short, who could open up a successful restaurant on the East and West coasts. Avner who is a darling of the Dallas press would would be a dime a dozen in NYC or SF...same with Uygur. Teiichi Sakura is pretty good for Dallas, but you have entire Japan towns on both coasts that make handmade noodles and tofu. Kaiseki, teppanyaki, yakiniku...they are everywhere on both coasts and they are better than anything I've had at any of Teiichi's restaurants. I'm not claiming that Fearing, Love, or Pyles are anywhere close to the best this city has to offer. My assertion is that they are unique enough to do well on either coasts. They would bring something totally different to both cities. And having lived on the West Coast and traveled extensively to NYC, I guarantee that many of Jefferson Blvd's restaurants would do enormously well in either California or NYC. They offer a totally different Mexican cuisines. I'm sorry, but not many places in California or NYC prepare their tortillas to order. And I know Tim screwed up on TCMs, but he froze his produce. It's a tough show, even Roy lost his composure. And, these are James Beard award winners. So help me, if Sharon Hage ever wins a James Beard award, I owe everyone a round of very strong margaritas.

    2. amokscience RE: jess1 Aug 4, 2009 05:29 PM

      Haven't been to Bijoux but I've been to Lola's Tasting Room (as a couple) a few times. It should be what you're looking for. I've been disappointed so often in $50+/person places that I've stopped trying new places but Lola remains a fond memory.

      Service was attentive but not overwhelming. Atmosphere was appropriate for special occasions. The tasting took about 3 hours to sit through. We ate without the wine and it was just fine. I thought the dishes were a good mix of safe and creative.

      There were certainly some more 'interesting' dishes but I've also had a couple of the best tasting items in my life at Lola's. Chef David Uygur was responsible for the menu/kitchen on my visits and it looks like he's still there.

      1. twinwillow RE: jess1 Aug 4, 2009 06:14 PM

        I think either Nana or York Street would make a great birthday dinner venue. You might also consider Stephen Pyles or Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant at Reunion Tower.

        1. s
          strong95 RE: jess1 Aug 5, 2009 05:57 AM

          Based on your criteria, I think Lola would be the best fit. Cozy, classy, comfortable with un-fussy great food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: strong95
            snootyfoodie RE: strong95 Aug 5, 2009 09:18 AM

            Hey Jess, seems to have gotten off topic here so back to your question, Lola or Bijoux. There's basically no wrong answer to this question.

            The food at both is equal in our minds, both in inventiveness and execution. Both exec chefs are there almost every night. We recently did the 10 course at Lola in the tasting room and it was amazing as usual and is a bargain at $85 pp (excluding wine). I don't think either place is stuffy and certainly not part of the Dallas scene so you're good either way there. Have fun!

          2. iluvtennis RE: jess1 Aug 5, 2009 10:28 AM

            Lola will be closing in October:

            http://eatsblog.dallasnews.com/archiv...

            1 Reply
            1. re: iluvtennis
              j
              jess1 RE: iluvtennis Aug 5, 2009 02:32 PM

              Thanks for this unfortunate news. I think we will be going to Lola now just to ensure we have a chance to experience it before they close!

            2. m
              mahalan RE: jess1 Aug 5, 2009 12:26 PM

              I've only been to Bijoux once but wasn't impressed enough to return. Fearing's and Pyles have both lived up to their reputations for me, however. I've yet to try Lola.

              1. b
                Bainmarie RE: jess1 Aug 13, 2009 03:13 PM

                Jess,

                Sorry there are a lot of answers here that are not direct. You asked about Lola vs. Bijoux, not about York Street. I have been to both restaurants many times, and Bijoux is by far the better of the two. The 10 course tasting menu is great, and the Gottlichs will pair wines with you that are very reasonably priced. For me, it's not even close. Enjoy!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bainmarie
                  d
                  dg1873 RE: Bainmarie Aug 13, 2009 03:52 PM

                  I love both, but Bijoux is more of an "experience" than the dining room at Lola. However, we've never done the tasting room at Lola, so I cannot compare to that. I would, however, be tempted to eat at Lola before it closes.

                  1. re: dg1873
                    m
                    meresidotes RE: dg1873 Aug 15, 2009 08:16 AM

                    IMO, Bijoux will provide you with an unforgettable experience both in taste and service. My meal there is one that still ranks among the best meals of my life, no exaggeration. I vote 100% for Bijoux.

                    Have fun!

                2. j
                  jasmine_bay RE: jess1 Aug 15, 2009 09:40 AM

                  Bijoux would be my pick hands down. We went there for our anniversary last year and Lola this year. Lola was a bit of a disappointment for us. I thought the food and atmosphere were at Bijoux better. Here is my post:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/628543

                  1. m
                    Mike C. Miller RE: jess1 Aug 27, 2009 07:52 PM

                    I'm quite fond of both and have eaten at both at least a dozen times. Frankly, I think it's a hard choice, and the only local restaurant I'd put in the same class with these two is York Street (although I do agree with the poster who mentioned York Street's elbow to elbow space).

                    I think the answer, in part, depends on your likes and dislikes, your priorities, etc. First, the one thing that Lola has that no other restaurant in town (or the State) can match is the incomparable and very reasonably priced wine list. If that's a priority, your decision is made for you.

                    On food, it's a nip and tuck race. Scott Gotlich's cuisine is a bit more traditional and classically French influenced, but it is not limited. His attention to technical detail is also very impressive. David Uygur, at Lola, on the other hand, has a bit more of a casual feel to his dishes, and his influences seem a bit more Italian and Iberian. But those are very broad generalizations, and if you take any given dish, they may not apply. But both put out extremely good food.

                    I think Lola has a tad more casual atmosphere, but again, it's close and a matter of taste. Bijoux's proximity to University and Highland Park brings in a dressed up and well healed crowd, but I've eaten there in my blue jeans on many occasions and received the warmest of welcomes. Service is excellent in both locations. Bijouxs' wine program is good, but, like every other restaurant in Dallas, is not in the same league as Lola's.

                    I say take him to one for his birthday and then make him take you to the other the next weekend as a reward for you taking him to the first. Compare the two and post reviews for us all.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mike C. Miller
                      DallasDude RE: Mike C. Miller Aug 28, 2009 01:00 AM

                      Mike, I appreciate your commentary. You sound as if you have actually been to the places as opposed to some of the many that give blanket commentary on menus. Thank you for the coverage.

                      As for me, I would check out Lola before its demise.

                      1. re: Mike C. Miller
                        bhoward RE: Mike C. Miller Sep 17, 2009 08:15 AM

                        Tonight will likely be my last meal at Lola before it closes. I have had many, many great meals there. Van Roberts is a restaurant host that will be dearly missed. I hope all of those at Lola find employment at other Dallas restaurants and I wish Van nothing but the best.

                      2. o
                        OCNC RE: jess1 Aug 30, 2009 02:30 PM

                        Bijoux 1000%!

                        1. f
                          fiore1 RE: jess1 Sep 16, 2009 07:45 PM

                          Better get to Lola fast. Still the better choice.

                          Show Hidden Posts