Nightlife, Restaurants

Martini madness for the new millennium at Lola’s

August 4, 2011

Photo courtesy of Lola's

WEST HOLLYWOOD, US – Remember apple martinis? The fruity-tart cocktail was all the rage in the ‘90s as the martini became the favored cocktail palette for novel flavor combinations galore. Apples may have originated in the Garden of Eden, but this ‘tini temptation was invented right in Hollywood’s backyard at Lola’s.

Lola’s carved out a name for itself among LA nightlife hotspots as a specialist martini bar, and even if the novelty of flavored martinis has worn thin in the new millennium, the leopard-print-accented restaurant/lounge is still going strong. Its menu of 50+ variations on the martini runs the gamut from the fruity (the cantaloupe martini) to the classic (the martini martini) to the sweet (the chocolate martini) to the downright head scratching (the pickle martini).

But the pleasures of Lola’s extend beyond mere mixology. In the bar area, pool tables draw in laidback billiards enthusiasts, while packs of Sex and the City types congregate on the leopard-print sofas. Seemingly perpetual happy hours ($6 martinis on offer daily 5:30pm-7:30pm and “Lit-Late Happy Hour” Wednesdays 10:30pm-12:30am) keep it packed to the rafters at peak times with 30-something creative types, careerists, and industry insiders. On weeknights, it’s a choice spot for a grown-up libation and conversation, though drink specials bring in partying kids on the weekends.

The vibe is fun–posh, dark, and clubby without taking itself too seriously. Go with a trendy skirt, funky top, and flats or heels (depending on whether you’re trying to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw or just want to chill with friends).

The restaurant portion of Lola’s is just as sassy and satisfying as the lounge, and it doesn’t hurt to do a little preemptive eating if you plan to drink your way through a martini sampler (the full menu is available until 1:30am for late-night diners). While the kitchen can get serious with selections like horseradish-crusted salmon, angel hair with lobster, and hoisin duck lettuce wraps, the big draws here are the comfort food favorites. They’re famous for their hearty mac n’ cheese–don’t miss it.

But if you thought the apple martini was a temptation, be prepared to be further enticed by the plate of freshly baked cookies for dessert. They’re made to order and come out piping hot and soft. Since they require up to 25 minutes to prepare, place your cookie order when you order your entrée or dessert cocktail. Once your belly’s full of mac n’ cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and a rainbow of martinis, I guarantee you’ll be convinced that this is a place where it’s fruitless to fight temptation. After all, whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

Read more about Lola’s in our Los Angeles Guide.

945 N. Fairfax Ave.
West Hollywood, CA
(1) 323-654-5652

Lola's on Urbanspoon

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