Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Several weeks ago, dinner at Lolo. First off, extremely friendly staff some of whom hail from from Guadalajara the original home of the proprietors. The menu is a mix of the favorites from the couple's restaurant in Mexico with some influence from their Turkish co-owner. The menu is indeed eclectic with everything ranging from heirloom tomatoes with feta, kalamatas and oregano, to pistachio encrusted salmon with wasabi cream sauce to beef tongue with roasted poblano curry.

We started with the panko encrusted shrimp wrapped in jicama with chipotle aioli. The jicama was thinly sliced and served as the tortilla wrapper for the shrimp, the seasoning of the shrimp and the chipotle aioli were right on, but the shrimp were on the small side so they were overwhelmed by the fried outer shell. Not a lot of shrimp flavor, but still very tasty.

Next came my two favorite dishes of the evening. The Octopus Tiradito and the Huitlacoche Dumplings. The octopus was thinly sliced and topped with lime, red pepper powder and a squirt of chipotle aioli. The octopus was fresh and had a nice bite to it. We put the thin slices on bread like carpaccio and devoured the whole thing in about two minutes.

The huitlacoche is something that I had never tried before and was described to me as a corn truffle or mushroom growing on corn. Pronounced 'kweet-lah-coh-chay', it is essentially a fungus or smut that infects corn. The dumpling wrappers were thin and allowed the huitlacoche paste to shine through. It was a smokey savory flavor, so delicious.

For entrees we sampled the
flank steak with peach and strawberry mole, braised beef tongue with roasted poblano curry, and pistachio encrusted salmon with wasabi cream sauce. The steak was properly cooked and the accompanying peach and strawberry mole dipping sauce was savory, not sweet as we had expected. The sauce was unique enough to make me order this even though I normally enjoy steak at home.

The only miss was the braised beef tongue. The meat was tender and cooked well, but the poblano curry had a Japanese curry flavor and didn't match well with the tongue.

The pistachio encrusted salmon was also very Japanese, the crust was light and crispy and the salmon just lightly rare on a pool of teriyaki style sauce. The texture of the crust with the pistachios and the creamy wasabi sauce worked well. This is one I would definitely order next time.

22nd near Mission

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