East Village's Popular LOLA 55 Modern Taqueria Gearing Up For San Diego Expansion

September 27, 2019

San Diego's popular LOLA 55 modern taqueria, which celebrated its one year anniversary in the East Village earlier this month, is gearing up for a local expansion that includes future outposts in Mission Valley and downtown La Mesa.

Founded by Tijuana-born Frank Vizcarra, who followed a career as a professional soccer player with gigs as a longtime executive at McDonald's and then as an investor/advisor for Tender Greens, Lola 55 is a family-run, fast-casual bar & restaurant named after Vizcarra's mother. After more than three years of development, the flagship 3,200-square-foot Lola 55 opened within the new IDEA1 Apartments in San Diego's East Village in August 2018 with a kitchen helmed by executive chef and partner Andrew Bent. In the past twelve months, Lola 55 has won the hearts of local food lovers and critics alike, even earning the highly coveted Bib Gourmand distinction from California’s Michelin Guide.

Fresh off the eatery's one-year-anniversary celebration, word is out that ownership intends to open four more Lola 55 branches around San Diego County over the next half-decade. Letters of intent for two branches have already been submitted, with an eatery planned for a new 1,500 square-foot building at Fenton Marketplace in Mission Valley and another in downtown La Mesa. Plans for the Mission Valley space include a covered, open-air kitchen area, as well as three outdoor patios, an al-fresco bar and a playground for children. The La Mesa restaurant is set to install at 8371 La Mesa Boulevard within a 4,700 square-foot building that would also act as a commissary kitchen for the company, who aims to ramp up online delivery possibilities in the near future.  Both the La Mesa and Mission Valley spaces are still in negotiations.

The menu at Lola 55 combines Chef Drew Bent's love for woodfire cooking with his respect for San Diego taco shops and locally sourced ingredients. Inspired by Oaxacan-style cuisine, where mesquite is used to jointly prepare and season food, Lola 55 grills most of its meats and vegetables on a custom, Santa Maria wood grill. The menu offers "inspired food at affordable prices", with most of the items priced between $3-7. Tacos are made with housemade tortillas and ingredients sourced from area farms and purveyors. The menu also includes a large list of vegan options, including numerous plant-based tacos. The restaurant also serves a full list of craft cocktails, local & Mexican craft beer, an array of side dishes like elote and aguachile, market-driven entrees and soft beverages like agua frescas and horchatas.

For more information about Lola 55, visit lola55.com, and be sure to visit the original location at 1290 F Street in San Diego's East Village.