From the posh Mexican-inspired cuisine that utilizes New England ingredients to the authentic hand-painted toilet bowls, every aspect of Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar in Boston’s Back Bay brims over with flare. Located only paces from the Copley T stop, Lolita is a must for anyone interested in great food, tasty drinks and a lively atmosphere.
Just a few steps below street level, Lolita’s lavishly dark interior immediately envelops the senses: windowless walls are covered from floor to ceiling in velvety red and black wallpaper, antique wrought-iron doors frame the walk-up tequila bar that’s inlaid with black alligator skin tile, and silent black and white Mexican films are projected onto the mid-19th century brick that was hand-selected by owners and siblings Chris and Stephanie Jamison.
Since opening the restaurant just under a month ago, Chris and Stephanie seem to have gained quite a positive reputation for Lolita; when we went here for dinner on a Saturday, we waited 30 minutes for a table. The wait was eased, however, by a $6 pint of the dark, chocolaty Lolita Craft Brew.
As soon as we sat down, we were greeted by a dramatic amuse-bouche: a silver bowl brimming over with dry ice smoke, filled with a grapefruit granita, an Italian ice-like dessert, and doused with a complimentary shot of tequila. The sour grapefruit and sharp tequila were a great way to wake up our palate for the meal ahead. Then we dove into a large basket of homemade tortilla chips served with three of Lolita’s homemade salsas.
Lolita boasts a liquor cabinet with over 200 tequilas, and its drink menu is just as diverse. We enjoyed the Bonita margarita ($14), rimmed with sugar and flavored with ginger and white peach, and the Lolita margarita ($12), rimmed with salt and flavored with grapefruit and lime. If dining with a crowd (or a couple of big drinkers), Lolita also offers their signature margaritas by the pitcher.
Lolita’s dinner menu is studded with a variety of tantalizing options that marry traditional Mexican recipes with local New England ingredients. We started off our meal with the Crispy Masa Oysters ($11), a plate of fried oysters served atop fresh salsa and chipotle crema, and the Tres Ceviches ($12), a trio of ceviches ranging in taste from sweet to spicy, each in an individual shot glass. For our main course, we had the pulled pork tacos ($12), served with pickled onions and salsa verde, and a side dish of the Iron Pan Corn Bread ($6). The corn bread came out floating in a pool of garlicky butter sauce, and paired beautifully with the tangy tacos. For a complimentary sweet treat at the end of the meal, every table is presented with a whimsical glassful of homemade sour apple cotton candy scattered with cherry Pop Rocks candy, a unique take on a childhood favorite. Our waitress playfully alluded to Marge Simpson’s blue coiffure as the inspiration for this sticky delight.
Owners Chris and Stephanie opened Lolita last month with the hope of creating “an upscale, decadent experience with the rock ‘n roll atmosphere usually associated with tequila and Mexican food.” We think they’ve struck the perfect balance between comfort and elegance. Lolita is an ideal spot for either a romantic date or a group of friends looking to kick back, savor scrumptious food and sip on fantastic drinks. We longingly look forward to our next visit.