It is always nice to discover cute little local restaurants, and in particular in Clapham Junction which is close to home. One such restaurant is Lola Rojo; a cute little Spanish restaurant down on Northcote Road.
Clad in modern fittings while boasting a white/red/black colour scheme, this is quite the opposite of what you would expect of a Spanish Restaurant and Deli. However it’s modern and it’s popular.
I was not surprised when calling up on Saturday afternoon to find that the restaurant was fully booked for the night, and the only table available for two was with high stools and by the Kitchen. My concerns about the location of the table were quickly burned by the manager on the phone – ‘It’s perfectly fine’.
Upon arrival, and walking through the dimly lit first room of the restaurant, I was lead to the corridor, to a table right opposite the kitchen window (as informed) and right underneath a spotlight (or what effectively was the down lights glowing in my face). Not nice, and why even have a table there in the first place??
Awkwardly being stared at by the kitchen staff, I was also then constantly ignored by the wait staff who would not take my drink order. I wasn’t waving them down, but I shouldn’t have to.
At this stage, being 6.30pm, the restaurant was not full, but filling up quickly. I enquired of the manager whether there was anywhere else we could sit as we need to leave by no later than 7.30pm. Reluctantly, and with much effort, he managed to find a table only to inform us that we had to be finished by 7.30pm on the dot:
Me: “That’s fine, but will you be able to serve us in that time frame?”
Manager: “I don’t know, it really depends on what you order, but you really can only have it until then”
Apart from the service, the food was OK, but not amazing. The best dish we tried was the pork with apple sauce; it was succulent and sweet with the perfect balance of flavours. I would recommend this dish.
I think the concept created here is unique, possibly containing a choice of food and products that are not readily available in London, as stated in their mission statement. But this is greatly let down by the service, and therefore I could not enjoy it to its full potential.