Lolailo the Original

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lolailo room

I finally found Lolailo. It wasn’t easy. I had the address and the general location, but even though my GPS said I was in front of it I couldn’t see anything that looked like a Spanish restaurant. Or any restaurant for that matter.

So I thought I would call the place. I didn’t have the name written down anywhere, so I was trying to figure out how to spell it while sitting on the side of the road off Turkey Lake Road. Lollilo? Lalaillo? Nothing was coming up.

I drove away and found dinner elsewhere.

Later, I reconnoitered with my notes, got the correct spelling and directions. (My GPS was all wrong.) Lolailo (full name Lolailo the Original because, you know, there are so many of them) is in the Bay Hill Plaza where you’ll also find Memories of India nearby. 

The name, by the way, is a sort of lyric for Spanish folk songs that help the singer follow the rhythm. I suppose it would be like opening a Frank Sinatra themed restaurant and calling it Doobey-Doobey-Doo.

It’s a pretty good size restaurant with a vast dining room on one side and a lounge with extra seating on the other, though both areas pretty much flow one to the other. There is a colorfully painted mural on one expansive wall, and tables are decorated with small vases of flowers.

This is a tapas restaurant, and being Spanish it comes to the term legitimately. 

The main focus of the menu is Galicia, and although I had just a small sampling for a quick introduction, I liked what I tasted and I intend to return.

lolailo fabada

I had the fabada, a soup made with fava beans with a big chunks of Spanish sausage, pancetta and smoked ham in a slightly tomatoey broth. It was served in a small, silver tureen, which made it as attractive as it was delicious.

Lolailo octopus

I also had the smoked octopus, a huge serving of bite-sized pieces of smoky flavored octopus, firm and chewy and flavorful.

lolailo olivesWhile I was waiting for my my tapas, my server brought me a small dish of olives to nibble on. The server and two men who appeared to be managers or owners were all very welcoming and attentive. I felt very comfortable, and I plan to return with friends for a more substantial tapas feast.

Now that I know where it is.

Lolailo the Original is at 7637 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-730-8948.

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