Lolinda is the new Argentinian-inspired Steakhouse restaurant in the Mission by the Beretta and Starbelly folks. Taking over the cavernous Medjool space, the Latin-infused food is accompanied by an excellent bar program which should provide some relief for the Beretta crowds.
The menu is broken out into cold and hot starters, mid-size dishes and proteins cooked a la vara (on a stick), asador (grilled) or platos.
We started with some cocktails: the Martinez (Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Dolin Vermouth and Luxardo) and the Cure for Pain (Rittenhouse Rye, Booker’s Bourbon, 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Carpano Antica, Campari and Crème de Cacao):
The Ensalada de Palmito was a baby gems salad with hearts of palm, avocado and shaved radishes with a lime dressing:
The Croquetas were very crispy on the outside and filled with creamy mashed yucca and ricotta cheese. The ricoto aioli served with it added some spiciness from chili:
The Pulpo dish contained grilled baby octopus served over white beans and topped with frisée dressed with a citrusy salsa verde:
Ceviche de Pescado with fresh halibut was nicely spiced with rocoto chilis. It was served on top of various potato slices and addictively good corn fritters (we would order a plate of the fritters alone if it was available):
Hueso Asado was a lengthwise cut of bone marrow, some crostini to spread it on, traditional parsley salad and an amazing spicy-sweet chile de arbol jelly:
We must have been lucky since four of the Chiles a la Parilla, a dish of grilled shishito peppers, turned out to be very spicy:
Vegetables a la Vara was a generous skewer of perfectly grilled zucchini, eggplant, red onions and corn on the cob:
Sadly, they were out of the Mollejas (sweetbreads), so we went with the other offal item on the menu: Lengua. The very tender beef tongue tasted like it was long-braised in wine (Malbec) and came on top of chayote picadillo. It was a nice Latin version of meat and potatoes (the chayote had the same texture and flavor of boiled spuds):
It was time to order some main dishes from the Asador (grill) part of the menu. First up was Ojo de Bife which was a medium-rare cooked 18 oz. cut of ribeye. The herbed butter and the garlicky chimichurri sauce (parsley, oregano, garlic, pepper, oil and vinegar) was excellent with the beef:
We also ordered the Chuleta pork chop which was nicely charred and very tasty. We spread the chimichurri sauce on the bread and topped it with the sweet roasted tomato that came with it to make a Latin version of bruschetta:
The Tres Leches dessert was nicely topped with coffee ice cream:
Lolinda’s version of Churros y Chocolate was excellent (click on the churros in the picture below to refocus). It was accompanied by some slices of peaches and small figs which completed the fondue experience:
The chocolate was thick and very rich. We used a spoon to drink up what was left in the cup:
To accompany the food, we ordered a Viña Albina Reserva Rioja from the mostly Latin-country imported wine list.
Even though Lolinda is only a few weeks old, the kitchen, service and the bar have gotten off to a great start. It wasn’t too crowded when we ate there, so go soon before it gets discovered.
Note: the popular roof deck won’t be open for another few months.