Charleston Edition: Lola's

By Candace Nelson - 8:05 AM

Maybe I'm just a fan of pizza places in Charleston. We went to Lola's for my final dinner in Charleston, and we hoped it would be a great end note to my trip. It was.

Parking seems to be scarce, but we luckily got a spot right up front. It was very busy on a Saturday night, so we walked into the small house, gave a name, then went outside to wait. Outside is a small porch with one or two tables and a couple benches. We watched the cars drive by and the lights strung from the trees light up. It wasn't too long before the hostess fetched us and led us to the back of the restaurant. Once I was inside, I was shocked at how ... fancy it was. This small, white house from the outside had plush black and purple seating areas and gorgeous art decorating the walls.

To the right were chalkboards descending from the ceiling by wire that stated what the specials were. our waitress took our drink orders and handed us menus. I ordered a green salad first. It had romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, fresh chunks of mozzarella and almonds all topped with a shallot vinaigrette. The veggies were all super fresh and crisp. The mozzarella tasted like it was straight out of Italy, and the vinaigrette was the best vinaigrette I've tasted. It was tangy, but light and went perfectly with the salad. It wasn't overpowering - I ate every last lettuce leaf.

For pizza, Brittany and I split a large pie. For my half, I got the margherita: their red sauce with spinach, kalmata olives, shrimp and mozzarella cheese. Brittany ordered the shrimp and sausage: oven-roasted tomatoes, shrimp, sausage, goat cheese and mozzarella. When I bit into my slice, I was surprised at the genuine red sauce. It was delicious. A tad bit sweet, but marinara, tomato-y and like I could pour it on any pasta dish. Shrimp on a pizza was new to me, but I dug in and it tasted great! The dough isn't overpowering - it's very thin and homemade, for sure. So the shrimp was a nice accent, and the ingredients blended together seamlessly. Brittany loves her pizza - it's a little heavy on the meat for me. Sausage isn't necessarily my thing, but it was tasty regardless. The meat was balanced with the goat cheese, which was strong.

For dessert, we split a coconut creme brulee. This delicate dessert was deep, and the topping was sugary and brittle, as it should be. The coconut was very, very faint. But it gave it a really creamy, whipped texture that was absolutely divine. There wasn't a bad part about this meal. It was delicious. You pay for the excellent service and superb food, but it's worth it.

Grade: A
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