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Lola or Local in Dallas?

  • t

First time in Dallas--we want to have a nice celebration dinner. Have read good things about both restaurants. Which should I choose? I mean Lola the restaurant, not the Tasting Room.

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    1. re: Naughty Lola

      I second the nomination...Lola.

    2. Lola if you want fancy. Local if you want funky. You can't go wrong.

      1. Ate last Friday night at Lola the Restaurant and it was fabulous as usual. Can't go wrong there.

        1. m
          Mike C. Miller

          Both are very good. I must say, like the other posters, that I prefer Lola. This is especially true if you're a wine drinker. Lola's list is very deep and incredibly well priced, with some older offerings below current retail pices. Plus there's something for everyone. Owner Van Roberts has everything from Grand Cru Burgundy and first growth Bordeaux, to a section of the wine list called Twenty$omething -- intersting and good wines for under $30. List is on line at www.lola4dinner.com.

          That being said, Local is very good. If wine is not a big attraction, the food there is very close to, or as good, as Lola. I might give Lola a very slight nod on the food, but they are close enought that it comes down to a question of individual tastes. Local is also a bit more casual, although Lola is not stuff or formal at all. However, Local's wine list, while good, isn't even in the same ballpark as Lola's.

          Finally, if you're not a wine drinker, the third restaurant that you should consider is York Street. Again, a good wine list, although I generally prefer Local's list. But not at all in the same ballpark as Lola. However, I'd rate the food here a half notch above either Lola or Local. Sharon Hage is the best cook working in Dallas right now, IMHO. Wonderful, fresh, seasonal ingredients, simply, but well prepared.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mike C. Miller

            I agree that Sharon Hage is one of the very best chefs in Dallas. That's one of the reasons she's nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef-Southwest year after year...

          2. Lola is probably the best restaurant in Dallas for the money. Food is consistently excellent and the wine list is superb, as well as very reasonably priced. Besides, at Lola you don't have to worry about having to deal with any of the nut cases in Deep Ellum, which from time to time can be quite unpleasant.

            1. Lola is always reliable and good. Local is over-priced, not very inventive, and can be just down-right lousy.

              1. I would have to throw Bijoux into this conversation when considering Lola....Either way do the 12 course tasting menu...will be a top 5 meal for you.....

                1. I would have to agree with a lot of what Mike C has stated. Local is far better than what most here are giving it credit for. I think I have had more standout dishes/drinks at Local than Lola but Lola's overall consistency is what gives it the nod.

                  If wine isn't your thing (which is not the case for me), I would go to Local. My few meals at Local (in both dining rooms) stand out mainly b/c of the wine. IMHO, Dallas needs places like Local more than Lola b/c Local takes advantage of local, hence the name, purveyors more than most any restaurant in town. As a result, the meal at Local is more uniquely Dallas. While a number of items at Local seem over-priced and some items are not home-runs, there is plenty to like at Local (tops on my list inc. the fried green beans and the well-thought-out drink list).

                  1. A few notes to follow up on Bhutani's post, much of which I agree with. Since I wrote my initial note, Lola has changed chefs. I think the current chef, David Uygur, in his second tour of duty at Lola, is performing extraordinarily well. I'd now rate the food at Lola a significant notch above Local and on par (depending on the night, the dish, etc.) with York Street.

                    One note on Local that I may have omitted in my initial review is that it can be a bit noisier than the other two. That can cut both ways, depending on what atmosphere you're looking for.

                    1. I am going to Local next, so I only have half a recommendation. That said, I really did enjoy
                      Lola. The food was quite good and well served. I liked the atmosphere. I would say
                      it was pretty tight in there and a little louder than I thought it would be from other reviews, but not oppressive. I appreciated the wine list and thought it was quite good and pretty reasonable even for some of the more impressive wines.

                      One point I saw from other postings on Lola is check you bill. They charged me incorrectly for the wine and I am sure it was an 'honest' mistake, but that shouldn't happen in my opinion and I showed my displeasure in the tip seeing it was the servers fault.
                      Will let you know once I do Local.

                      1. I ate at Local for the first time in a while this weekend. Still very good, although our main courses weren't quite up to the standard that I remembered. But it may have just been the selection of the dishes that we picked. The steak was a closer to medium or medium well than medium rare and strangely flavorless. The mushrooms on top, however, were quite good. Both appetizers -- tuna tartar and a pork taco selection -- were very good. An amuse of frothed celery root soup was stunningly good.

                        Wine list is still something a weak spot compared to some comparable Dallas spots, although one can find a decent bottle. Just not a lot of selection. Thirty selections maybe, most from the U.S. and in the moderate price range, albeit with a healthy markup. They used to have a reserve list, but I gather that they have discontinued that and now just have a high end bottle or two on the main list. Whites appeared to be more to my tastes than the reds, but that could just be a personal bias.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mike C. Miller

                          Thanks for the update on Local Mike. In number6's last post he/she states that he/she saw from other postings to "check your bill" at Lola. I have eaten at Lola MANY times and know that you have, too. I have never read this about Lola and, certainly, have never heard of or experienced this problem there. I assume that your experience is akin to mine in this regard?

                        2. Indeed. I probably eat there at least twice a month. Checking the bill is good advice at any restaurant. Anyone can make a mistake.

                          But I can't imagine anyone at Lola consciously gouging a customer. Jesus, they're are older vintage wines on the wines list at under retail price!! If they were going to gouge people, the wine list prices would have to triple overnight.

                          1. We had such a bad meal at Local I had to post about it on this board.

                            Interestingly enough, we adore Lola, from the friendly informative service to the creative (and so reasonable - shh, dont tell them) food, its a go to restaurant for us.

                            So, for me this is an easy choice!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ErinTulane

                              Visiting from the Austin board, just wanted to share our experience at Local this week, since we went to Local based on some recs from Chowhound. Overall, we really enjoyed the food and the place, though it's definitely pricey. We had 1) a blood orange-something? glazed salmon dish with various assorted peas, which was delicious, perfectly cooked fish, and 2) scallops with gnocchi, tasty, but a little salty and hard to tell scallops apart from gnocchi in the dim light. ;)

                              We also had the cardomon-spiced donut holes for desert. What's not to like about fresh donut holes?

                              Service was welcoming and solicitous without being annoying or pretentious. The place was half empty (or half full, depending on your outlook) on a weekday night.

                              Haven't been to Lola, but might return to Local on a repeat trip to Dallas, especially if someone else was paying...