Soft shell, hard shell, fish, pork, spicy, or sour, tacos are some of the most fun and versatile cuisine to hit the streets of San Diego. While there are literally hundreds of taco shops, stands, and food trucks across the West Coast, a new hip and happening restaurant just hit the East Village and it has everybody talking. Lola 55 is not your average everyday taco shop. Owned and operated by Frank Vizcarra, a chain gone indie restauranteur who studied under famed chef Luis Arellano, Lola 55 brings to light all that is good and great about chain eating mixed with the refreshing atmosphere and plating of the independent food movement.
Frank began, believe it or not, as a manager at a Pizza Hut, before realizing that food was his calling. In 2009 he hit the ground running with an investment in a restaurant called Tender Greens. Since then, he’s turned his sights to the Mexican food movement in San Diego and he’s running with it.
What’s Different About Lola 55?
The restaurant, named for Frank’s mother, is being run by local chef, Drew Brent, who previously worked at Searsucker and Puesto. The two met while working together at Tender Greens, but it seems like the menu created by Brent focuses on more than just freshly sourced vegetables. With nine different super tacos, Lola 55 is trying to take Mexican street food into the lap of luxury without breaking the bank. Each taco is hand crafted using high-end ingredients, such as ribeye, mesquite flavored carne asada, cispy leaks, coconut rice, and more.
From the unique creamy flavor of avocado mousse, to the umami bite of eggplant bacon, these aren’t your mother’s tacos. The ingredients for the nine tacos are cooked in a wood-fired oven, and the kitchen comes complete with a tortilla station, where customers can watch homemade tortillas be pressed out before appearing filled with mouth watering goodies on their plates. All that delicious grub is then washed down with signature cocktails and classic concoctions, served by bartender extraordinaire, Gareth Moore.
Those interested in visiting the new addition to San Diego’s taco heaven can get in line at the IDEA1 building at 899 Park boulevard. The building is equal parts residential district and business, with a variety of venders including a bike mechanic, craft beer brewery, café, and of course, Lola 55, among others. The soft opening was a success earlier this month, and reviews released so far have screamed of positivity and deliciousness.
Will this new brave taco eatery pave the way for future hipster taco hot spots or is it one in a million? There’s no telling how well the restaurant will thrive just yet, especially in a climate so overrun with tacos. Fortunately, the team at Lola 55 have chosen a great area to open shop, with hundreds of potential customers just a few short steps away.
Keep your eyes out for new news about Lola 55 and other upcoming hot spots to hit the San Diego food and entertainment scene in coming weeks.