Friday, July 30, 2010

Lolita's and our Lack of Tlayuda

I fiiiiinally dined at the West End's Lolita's this past week, after several years of hearing good things about it and seeing it as I have walked/run along Davie, en route to Stanley Park. My family tried Lolita's older, brash cousin - Me & Julio - last year and I have discovered that I feel the same way about both of Jaison and Lila Gaylie's establishments.

Vancouver doesn't "get" Cal-Mex, let alone authentic Mexican cuisine. The appeal of West Coast Mexican food is its bold flavours, value, and satisfying simplicity. From Whale's Vagina (San Diego) to Blaine, every US city worth its salchicha offers an array of cheap and kickass Mexican restaurants. But nooooo...all you can get upon entering hoighty-toighty, chi-chi Vancouver is designer desayuna and yuppified yerbabuena. Yes, Lolita's has stellar cocktails and beautifully-plated entrees. Yes, Me & Julio's specials are super creative and will start a party in your mouth hole. But this is beside the point because Vancouver needs some Mexican restaurants that are somewhere between a taqueria and a boutique eatery, such as Lolita's.

My foodie pal and I ordered the Plantanos con Creama, the Turkey Tostada, and the Brisket Taquitos. To reiterate, the food created under the Gaylies is always punchy and pretty, so I cannot state that I did not enjoy my meal. I'm just getting sick of enjoying these types of $16 dishes, when what I would really prefer is a $5 tamale or $7 birria like I have had in countless Mexican cantinas and restaurants south of the border. I would definitely go back to Lolita's for a cocktail and those delectable plantains, but I'd probably eat somewhere else along Davie.     

One final thought: would you naturally want to dine at a restaurant owned by a guy named Jaison Gaylie? It's like wanting to listen to the music of a singer-songwriter named KT ("Katie") Tunstall or wanting to read a book by an author named Poppy Z. Brite. I should trust my gut more often, before I fill it.

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