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Restaurants

Lola's Kitchen

Posted by June Too / Listed on November 1, 2009 / review policy

Lolas KitchenLola's Commissary opened up earlier this year in an old Victorian on Church St. just south of Bloor. Wanting to check it out for a while, we finally stopped in for an early afternoon brunch (available on the weekends 10-4pm) last Saturday afternoon.

Not your usual eggs and bacon place, Lola's offers a menu that changes with the season and includes some creative combinations. There are lunchy/dinner choices like mussels and steak, as well as more huevos inspired fare like scrambled tofu and egg white frittatas. Like many Church St. brunch destinations, there's also a number of variations on eggs benedict as well as the vegan friendly VLAT - vegan bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato.

Lola's CommissaryMost of the dishes are served with sexy sweet potatoes, fries or a simple salad. What are sexy sweet potatoes? They're regular and sweet potatoes made with paprika sauce, smoked salt and herbs. Crispy and spicy on the outside, but still nice and creamy on the inside, they're a nice change of pace from the usual home fries.

Lola's CommissaryDespite all the choices confronting us we all ordered eggs. The Eggs Lola ($12) arrived with poached eggs, ancho (a mild chilli pepper) chicken, corn tortillas, avocado and creme fraiche. But I think the kitchen got a little too zesty with the lime as that's the flavour that stuck out most. Surprisingly absent was any sort of kick or spice, likely on account that the ancho was so mild.

The Eggs Pepita ($14) - pictured at top - was a patchwork of poached eggs, chipotle shrimp, maple bacon and paprika Hollandaise on a toasted English muffin. The chipotle shrimp tasted not unlike buffalo-wings and were a bit dry and on the small side. But the dish redeemed itself with perfectly cooked eggs and the tasty addition of the maple bacon.

Lola's CommissaryEggs Florentina ($11) was a combination of caramelized onions, spinach, and standard Hollandaise sauce. The verdict around the table was that the caramelized onions were too bitter. Our decision to relegate them to the side of the dish was a strategy of addition by subtraction.

Lola's CommissaryThe Kitchen Sink ($9) came described as "lots of lovely bits," scrambled eggs and gooey cheese. The dish is obviously not literally the remnants of the kitchen sink and it showed. There was lots of good flavour here - bacon, mushrooms, onions and spinach. The mixture was scrambled perfectly, soft and fluffy.

Lola's CommissaryLastly, we diverged from the egg focused ordering and split the Cheesecake French Toast ($12). This was the highlight of the brunch and Lola's isn't afraid to hide it. Our friendly server told us she gets genuinely excited whenever someone orders it. The dish had us salivating as soon as it was set on the table. Challah dipped in egg, sandwiched with half-melted gooey cheesecake inside. Yum.

We all washed everything down with a glass of fresh grapefruit juice ($4). A bit pricey for the size (about 6 oz), but refreshing and sweet.

Lola's CommissaryLola's Commissary

Photos by Michelle See.

Note: the name of the restaurant was updated to Lola's Kitchen to reflect the name change as of November 2011.

Discussion

34 Comments

Foodhogger / November 7, 2009 at 11:20 am
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Love Lola's!
Trevor / November 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm
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Great food, top quality, good variety and vegan friendly!
Michelle / November 7, 2009 at 06:40 pm
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We went for brunch today and it was excellent. I've been on a tour of the city for eggs benny with smoked salmon and I have to say this is the best I've had so far. The hollandaise and eggs were absolutely perfect, and I loved the idea of cream cheese on the english muffin, it was fantastic. I don't think there's any tabasco in the sexy potatoes.

I'm surprised the reviewer didn't mention the space. It is absolutely beautiful. There is a lovely lounge type area on the second floor and that deck out front is going to be amazing in the summer.

We loved it and we'll be going back soon, hopefully even next weekend. All the best to Lola's!
Mike / November 7, 2009 at 11:20 pm
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I was just there on monday for lunch, quick friendly service and delicious food as well!
Therese AKA One of the food chicks from Lola's / November 8, 2009 at 05:34 pm
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Thanks Michelle, you are right there is no tabasco in the sexy potatoes, we use a combination of paprika sauce/smoked salt and herbs. So glad you enjoyed your meal, say hello the next time you are in.

Best, The Food Chicks
June replying to a comment from Therese AKA One of the food chicks from Lola's / November 9, 2009 at 09:25 pm
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Thanks for the correction! :)
Laura / November 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm
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Wow!!! that cheesecake french toast looks amazing. I can't wait to try it.
Dave / November 16, 2009 at 04:40 pm
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Went to Lola's Nov 14 - was so eager to try the food that we arrived before the place was open! Ha! They let us in anyway -- sat us down with some Americano to wait for the kitchen to fire up. Excellent service! Super nice staff. We tried the Cheesecake French Toast and its EXACTLY what people say - AMAZING. Had the place to ourselves for the whole meal -- so was a great brunch. Will definitely go back for lunch and dinner in the future. ;)
Sebastian Melmoth / November 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm
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Don’t let the unassuming exterior on upper Church Street make you think things aren’t happening inside!

Every once in a while, I’m absolutely delighted with a restaurant. The food, service, and ambience were impeccable—and award-winning Chef Therese DeGrace is really a talent to keep a watch on! Somewhere between Tapas, Haute cuisine, and modern comfort food, the Chef’s elaborate and whimsical presentations always left you wanting a little more. From start to finish, the experience was exceptional.

I eagerly await my next visit. :)
TO_Gourmand / November 21, 2009 at 03:43 pm
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I thought it was extremely good. The menu consists of DeGrace’s signature style of cuisine. A fresh, modern spin on old classics, and a wide range of flavors and textures—each plate a composition that is savory to both the eyes and the palate.

Clearly celebrating an abundance of training, experience, and cultural influences—Therese’s foods are infused with authentic flavors and that little bit of passion that separates the good from the great.

Bravo “Lola’s”.
Andrey / January 19, 2010 at 02:23 pm
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Food was excellent. Coffee is 4$ and juice 5$. I find that ridiculous. If you have to cover costs, I'd rather you did it directly.
Therese AKA One of the food chicks from Lola's replying to a comment from Andrey / January 19, 2010 at 02:57 pm
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Dear Andrey,
Thanks so much for your kind words regarding the food at Lola's. With regards to the juice/coffee it costs a fair bit of money for labour, equipment and product to produce decent quality beverages. I am sorry you felt they were over priced but our mark up isn't that high. I appreciate your feedback and wish you happy dining in our kick ass city.
BR / March 24, 2010 at 11:20 am
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stopped in a couple of times for lunch, as I work nearby. The space is really gorgeous and we were pleased with the food so we tried it for brunch as well. I think they were unprepared for the number of people who were there because the service was quite slow. Server comped our beverages to make up for the slow service, which was very nice of her. Great service all around.
J Man / May 12, 2010 at 08:23 am
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Lola's was OK at best. You can tell the chefs have NO respect for the food they put together. It is never the same! Always being made with whatever they can get their hands on, just trying to fool the guest. Dont waste your time!
stephen macdonald / May 16, 2010 at 09:27 am
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I have a few things to say and i hope the food chicks can take some feedback. I went with a few friends earlier this week for dinner, and you were closed. I have seen you open for lunch/brunch so i know you're still open. While we were standing on the front porch deciding where t go, 5 different parties came , and left disappointed. Why wouldn't you tell anyone (facebook , twitter-a sign even), change your hours on your website ?? All you're doing is alienating your potential customers, it wouldn't take much food chicks.
I like your food, in fact i have brought many people, but the more i go the more i realize that you ladies can cook, but your running of a restaurant lacks forethought and expertise. It really looks like you guys haphazardly make decisions if things aren't working, comedy night, live music..you never let anything go for long enough for people to hear about it. I live around the corner , so i always read the signs, and walk by all the time lola's is unpredictable, and people want predictable, or at least consistent.
Why does the kitchen staff bring out my food half the time?? HIRE SOMEONE ELSE. quality of service is important, and why have good food and mediocre service?? esp for brunch??
it also makes you look cheap, and its unprofessional..i don't want the person making my food serving food.
its a chicken and egg scenario.. what comes first better service.. or a busier restaurant..i want to be clear though the servers are good, there is just not enough of them..
i know, this might hurt food chicks, but i am disappointed you are closed for dinner-
i have gone on friday's now for a month, with several friends. now, where to go?
it is also hard to see a restaurant with good food, empty half the time. iron out the kinks, i want you to be around for a while


alexandra / May 24, 2010 at 12:16 am
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Hi!
I agree with james, we love lola's for dinner. My husband and i have come several times for dinner and quite enjoyed it. Too bad your closed! It was catching on!
saveur / August 18, 2010 at 04:11 pm
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I really enjoyed brunch here. I thought the Eggs Lola was fabulous. Not spicy, rather the Ancho chili was quite flavourful.
andrea / September 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm
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Great place to go for lunch or breakfast in the yonge /bloor area. Servers were friendly and fast, the food was great! Love the specials! I definitely will be back.
I have heard you do a fabulous brunch.
S2tm / October 3, 2010 at 11:12 am
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About "being open for dinner" business. Can I just say "stop your whining". God it's annoying. Restaurant closed? Go somewhere else!

Have you considered that perhaps the cook called in sick? Personal issues came up? Who knows? It could be anything. Maybe... just maybe, they just felt like not opening for dinner. Hey when you own your own successful restaurant that's always open when I want, let me know. .

Sorry about the rant. I just get tired sometimes with princesses.
sarah mac / October 7, 2010 at 01:43 pm
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I Love this place!!
The food is great, and getting better all the time.
I have been coming here for about a year with some people from my office, and there is something for everyone-even the vegans!!
The service is fast and super friendly, and the specials as of late have been fantastic!!
foodlover / October 8, 2010 at 08:02 am
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I work
and live in the yonge and bloor area and i was excited when it opened up, as there isnt much in the area as far as quality food goes. I have been there for breakfast and lunch during the week as well as brunch; I love the food!!
The cheesecake stuffed french toast is to die for, and the all day breakfast during the week is a godsend in this area, eggs your way, the standard is always cooked to perfection, and the triple decker grilled cheese is starting to become a guilty pleasure of mine. A great place to sit and drink a coffee , read a book or do some work in peace.
The best part is , i can go for lunch with my girls from work-they take reso's , and we can be in and out in an hour!!(without having to eat crap food! yay!)
AND someone in office always gets wraps and salads delivered!! How awesome!!
The best pizzas around, perfect for one or for sharing if you want to count those calories..
Love the santa fe salad ! A must for herbivores in the hood!
Keep it up lola!!
sammmy the stomach / October 19, 2010 at 02:16 pm
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I just found out about this place!!
It has been open for over a year, and yesterday was my first time. I was impressed with the food , and the speed at which it arrived at our table. There is a good selection to choose from.
I had the gingered soba noodles; perfectly cooked soba noodles tossed in a ginger sesame dressing, with kale , carrot, cucumber, sprouts and crspy tofu. It was so good and so light!! My boyfriend had the special PLT: peameal, lettuce and tomato on rye ..he loved it! The server was friendly, (and cute), and was very attentive considering the restaurant was full!
we'll be back for one of those delicious looking pizzas!!
Justsoyouknow replying to a comment from TO_Gourmand / October 28, 2010 at 09:40 am
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Karen Balcom and Therese DeGrace have sold Lola's as of Sept. 2010. The owners are new.
Brian / November 14, 2010 at 03:19 pm
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I went to brunch this morning after the rave reviews from this Blog. I found the food pretty good -- one of the better versions of Huevos Rancheros in the city (still think Swan is at the top of my list). The Salmon Frittata was a bit dry and salty (paired with the olive paste). My main criticism is directed at the service. Our food took a long time to arrive and we had noticed that 2 tables that were seated after us had already received their order well before us. When I had inquired, they politely blamed it on our Frittatas. The servers kept coming around to collect our plates as we were finishing and they took my friend's plate before he had a chance to finish his last toast.

Overall, I had great expectations that were not met, but I would try this restaurant again for dinner with hopes that the service and food would be better.
damian / November 22, 2010 at 04:29 pm
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I love lola!! i have been coming here for just over a year, always with great experiences. I was sad to hear that Therese DeGrace and Karen Balcom had left, and was concerned that the quality of the food would change. To my surprise things are better than ever!! I look forward to seeing the future of lola!! Yay Rancheros!!
xoxo damian
feedmysoul / November 25, 2010 at 03:08 pm
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I agree with Damian above. I love the eggs rancheros at brunch! I have been coming for lunch more recently, and the lunch menu is just as good. I love the changes that were made to the She's Come Undone pizza. I used to be something i could make at home, for a qaurter of the price. Now though it is a very balanced, full meal. AND it's light.
Garlic confit as the base, fresh tomatoes marinated in garlic , basil and olive oil; dressed with parmesan chards on top. The crust is thin and perfectly crispy.
I have also been impressed with the specials. My workmate had the Lola burger. WOW! was all he could say.
An extremely juicy buger patty with melted cheddar , a crispy corn tortilla, guac salsa verde red onion tomatoe and lettuce.
thank the lord!

Bravo Lola!
besteggs / November 28, 2010 at 06:41 pm
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Visited Lola's on a Sunday at 12:30 for brunch (not completely full, but a reservation would be wise). It definitely met expectations, but did not exceed them at all. I ordered eggs benedict and my friend ordered the scrambled eggs. The English muffin was way too burnt, as was the peameal bacon, which resulted in an overall burnt taste that masked the hollandaise sauce. Otherwise, it would have been a slightly above average eggs benny (the eggs were nicely poached). The two slices of fruit on the side were fresh and the "sexy potatoes" were not bad. I would have preferred a higher sweet potato-potato ratio, especially since the whole idea behind the "sexy potatoes" were that they were sweet potatoes.

I had a bite of my friend's scrambled eggs and they were pretty good. The eggs were not overcooked and the mushrooms in it were not watery/overcooked either. It was nicely seasoned.

Service was definitely below average, as we were not asked if our meal was alright, were not offered jam for the toast or salt/pepper (which was not available at the table) and had to request several times for refills of water. That aside, I was impressed by the cleanliness of their water glasses. No one had attitude which is a plus, but with that said, we were not offered anything either (not even drinks/to see if we would like coffee/tea).

The atmosphere was very nice and seating was rather spacious.

Overall, a just slightly above average brunch experience and if you are lucky that your order is perfectly cooked, it can be considered good brunch.
brunchdiva / January 10, 2011 at 09:30 am
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was at lolas this weekend, we didn't have to wait for a table -which is always great at brunch!
I have Similar complaints to besteggs;
my english muffin and pemeal were burned; my eggs however were not as good-one was poached hard the other was soft.A no no for eggs benny.
My boyfriend had the fritata and the spinach was dark green, almost slimy and gross-very over cooked.
The fritata was much better before, clean.
I love lola's -what is happening? You are not as consistent as before! i could count on you, now i never know what i am going to get.
I thought the service was great, as always!!
Joe / February 20, 2011 at 04:45 pm
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I went for breakfast there this morning for the first time. It SUCKED!!! My poached eggs were like slime. I realized as I was eating them the waitress didn't ask me how I'd like them cooked. The potatoes were still crunchy inside! I won't be back!
Mark / April 11, 2011 at 07:04 pm
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Lolas Commissary food for the last month when I went twice has been AMAZING!
I am told ALL the products, vegetables, fruit, sauces etc are FRESH, and it tasted amazing .
We had great eggs (NOT runny at all), the service was great too.
I had the mushroom wrap another time and it was to die for! It even had whole wheat wrap.
Place looks great, new look inside, great service, great new chef too i am told, who is only into using FRESH , not frozen products.
Give them our support!
Be back real soon!
brownfrown / May 22, 2011 at 04:35 pm
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I just returned from brunch at Lola's and I would just like to put it on record that it was fantastic. Firstly, I took a long shot and called to see if they took reservations (they do!) so there was no wait. The decor is bright and clean and surprisingly for a place so close to Yonge and Bloor, has character. I had the eggs benedict and they were possibly the best I've had in Toronto so far. I tried my friend's eggs rancheros (basically a breakfast burrito in what I believe was a pita) and it was also superb. I was even tempted by the coffee (which I hardly ever drink) with its accompanying individual pots of sugar and choice of a little jug of milk or cream. The service was friendly, attentive and quick. Definitely returning; this place is lovely.
Elliott / August 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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The food and service is truly amazing!!!!
All very healthy too....told all fresh sauces, dressings etc etc made on site. No frozen or bottled stuff
Tasted all very fresh, and great service and presentation.
Vegan dishes look great also.
Great to see open for dinner now too.
Really worth a visit.....
going back real soon!
Lara replying to a comment from Therese AKA One of the food chicks from Lola's / September 23, 2013 at 04:04 pm
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I disagree with your comment regarding the quality of your beverages. At best, your coffee tastes like what you can get at a 7/11, Sorry. And by the way, your tea/coffee cups could use more thorough washing to eliminate residue odour.

The food and the staff, however, are keeping us coming for more! :)
Lara replying to a comment from Joe / September 23, 2013 at 04:06 pm
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happened to us twice, but in general, their potatoes are well cooked. Give it another shot!

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