"Chez Lola is Oskar's tall little sister. She is by no means a copy. Where Oskar is Bistro on the beaten path with classic decidedly French fair with butter & cream staple, Lola is Bistro off the beaten path, spilling over France's borders, (particularly to the south) with it's decidedly herb and olive oil staple.
She is a bit like the dark side of the moon..."
So having never eaten at Chez Oskar I cannot compare the two places.
On with the review...
Chez Lola just opened, with it's first official day of business being Thursday, September 7th, so things are still in a state of flux. They have not yet received their liquor license so it's BYOB until then and the menu will be expanded once things are a bit more settled. I think it's only dinner for now, they opened at 6pm tonight, with plans for a Sunday Brunch once the liquor license comes in. (No use getting brunch if you can't drink mimosas or bloody marys.)
The decor is great. The high ceilings, the colors and the paintings really give it that Bistro kind of feel. I immediately felt comfortable in this place. The garden is amazing. At the moment it's a bit dark with only the candles on the table giving off any illumination but lights will be strung up in the trees and fences to brighten it all up soon.
The food was wonderful.
The Littleneck Clams appetizer is highly recommended. The clams are served in a coconut curry broth so save some bread for dipping.
I had the 12oz Sirlion Steak, medium rare, and it was cooked to perfection. Very tender and very flavorful. The Freedom fries, okay - French fries since it is a French Bistro, were also the way I like them; fresh, small and crispy with a liberal amount of seasoning, and by seasoning I mean salt*, on them.
(*It's really ticks me off when you order Freedom fries and they don't come salted or barely have any salt on them. They need to be salted when they're hot! Don't you people watch the Food Network?)
The Mushrooms on top were tasty and offered a nice contrast of flavors but, honestly, they were kind of in my way of me consuming my steak.
As for the desserts...the Chocolate Tart was like eating a giant wedge of chocolate which is a good thing and drew no complaints.
The White Chocolate and Lavender Bread Pudding was good as well, you could actually taste the Lavender, but I liked the Chocolate Tart slightly better.
And the service? Couldn't have been better. Granted, it wasn't very crowded, but the staff was extremely friendly, very prompt and I got the check moments after asking for it.
(For a French place this is a big plus.)
I think Chez Lola's, like Oskar's, is going to be around for a long time.