I’ve been meaning to try La Cholita for a while now and I’ve heard many mixed reviews. There has been a lot of talk in regards to poor service, the amazing tequila list and their fantastic food. I couldn’t wait to see what all the hype was about.
Last week, Lana and I had dinner at La Cholita to have a final catch up before she heads on an amazing trip overseas for a year. When I arrived, I was told that there would be a 20 minute wait for a table. I was a little disappointed because I could see the bar area was packed so I wasn’t sure where we would be able to wait other than outside in the cold. However, I didn’t need to worry as La Cholita provides you with a little area where you can order drinks and entrées while you wait to be seated. It was also table service so you don’t actually feel like you are waiting for a table – a really nice aspect for a busy restaurant like La Cholita.
I sat down and had a look at their drink menu while I waited for Lana to arrive. There are 60 types of tequila on the menu as well as an assortment of Mexican beers but my favourite aspect of the drink menu was their range of Latin American wines. I love tequila but I have to be in a party mood to order it so I stuck with white wine for the night. Lana arrived soon after and we both decided to order a glass of the 2010 Palacio De Borois Verdejo from Spain ($8), as the description sounded wonderful; “Vibrant and lively, this is Spain’s equivalent to sauvignon blanc”. It was a really great wine and we ended up ordering two glasses each over the night. It was a little bit fruity but still had the crisp and dry flavour of a sauvignon blanc. It also went really well with our food for the evening.
Before long, we were taken to our table which was at the bar. The food menu looked like a mix of the typical Mexican dishes we are introduced to in Australia but with original flavour combinations. I was really excited to try a quesadilla to see if it was similar to what I ate in Mexico. La Cholita is owned by Clint Nolan (owner of Who’s Your Mumma and Harvest in Fremantle), who was inspired to open La Cholita after a trip to Mexico. Everything on the menu is house made, including the corn chips and tortillas, which is a lovely aspect to this restaurant.
Our first dish was the Guacamole with Cripsy Flour Tortillas ($6). The guacamole had chunks of avo in it and had a strong and tangy lime flavour. The house made tortillas were crispy and tasted really good. Lana and I really liked this dish and both mentioned how much we enjoyed the tanginess of the lime.
The next dish that arrived was the Crab Meat and Avocado Tostadas ($6). There were three small round tortillas with crab meat and avocado on top. The crab meat was really strong in flavour but it was slightly mellowed by the avocado. This was another very tasty dish.
The Slow Cooked Pork, Pineapple and Onion Tacos ($5) arrived next. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night as the combination of the pork and pineapple tasted surprising good. The raw onion on top was another great addition of flavour, as it added a contrast to the sweet pineapple. Seeing as though there was only one soft taco on the plate, I would definitely recommend ordering one order per person as this dish is too good to share!
My favourite dish of the night was the Three Cheese and Jalapano Quesadilla ($10). This was very similar to the ones I remember in Mexico – non-greasy and full of flavour. The bread wasn’t oily but instead was light and the filling was incredibly flavoursome. The three cheeses had a distinct flavour which was highlighted by the jalapanos (which aren’t too hot in taste but give the dish a distinct flavour of vinegar and spice). Even if you aren’t a fan of chilli, I think you should still try this dish as it isn’t too hot on the taste buds. On the other hand, if you like a bit of chilli then you’ll be happy to know that La Cholita provide you with two types of chilli paste as well as fresh lemon and sour cream for you to add to your dishes.
Due to this amazing quesadilla, we decided that we would order a second quesadilla to share – the Chorizo and Queso Corelo Quesadilla ($12). The filling was quite spicy, with the chorizo having a lot of flavour to it however it didn’t have the same wow-factor as the one before it. In saying that though, we both enjoyed it with a dollop of sour cream.
The service on the night was quite stilted. At first, the service was friendly and accommodating however by the time we reached our table at the bar, it became non-existant. It took a while to get the attention of the barstaff and while doing so, Lana and I looked around at the other patrons and quite a few of them seemed to be in a similar situation. At one point, Lana caught the eye of a staff member, to which he visibly turned around and continued drying glassware. Due to their stilted service, our meal was quite a lot longer than it would normally be however Lana and I didn’t mind as it meant more time to suss out the menu, drink and chat over our dishes.
In regards to the food, we didn’t have one bad or average dish on the night. We were also pleasantly surprised when our bill arrived – $71 for four glasses of wine and enough food for two!
This was the first place Lana and I have been to that we both enjoyed and we highly recommend it.
*On a personal note – happy travels to my lovely friend Lana. I will miss our evenings out! x