(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman except one as indicated)
They are dancing in the aisles at Lolita’s Cantina and Tequila Bar. I was invited to the VIP Press party for their opening and loved seeing Lolita’s sleek modern look. Eric De Blasi, CEO of the Medusa group, wanted his restaurant to be different and he really succeeded.
I watched the Mariachi band performing on the stage and suddenly realized they were not real. Perhaps they were on film, but Eric explained, “We are the first group anywhere in the world to use holograms. During the 2,006 MTV Awards, Madonna was dancing with animated gorilla holograms. People laughed because they thought Madonna was with the gorillas but out of the blue, Madonna came out and everyone realized she was alone. We offer variety with a mariachi band, professional dancers, and during all of these sets, the DJ spins the music, and in this case they are spinning against the hologram. You even see the DJ in the hologram. We play games, give away stuff” and have a lot of interaction.”
The DJ spins top 40 numbers, a mixture of today’s music. They also have a saxophonist, bongo and conga player who plays along with the DJ. It is quite entertaining.
With 11,500 square feet, there is plenty of room throughout the restaurant, lounge, two outside patios, and party room. Customers can dance in the wide aisles, around the dance floor, or in the patio. Eric compares the atmosphere with going to a club in Mexico. “We have a fun environment all day and all night!”
I entered the busy kitchen to meet the Executive Chef Tacho Kneeland. Chef Tacho explained, “We wanted to duplicate the traditional street tacos vendors sold throughout Mexico. The trend is to serve smaller tortillas, made fresh by hand, one by one. We serve one of the best tortillas in Las Vegas.” Street tacos are not usually seen in Las Vegas, but you can find them at Lolita’s.
Chef Tacho tantalizes your taste buds with calamari marinated in coconut milk dusted with dried orange peel and sesame seeds. This sounds so good but I tried the fajitas and was thrilled when the steaming hot platter arrived. The 10 ounce portion of anchote marinated chicken breast filled the platter. When I lifted one of the large, long pieces of chicken there was a bed of sliced onions, green, and red peppers underneath. Tasty and flavorful yet not too spicy, you can ask the chefs to prepare any of the food mild or hot. As Chef Tacho commented, “We do whatever the customer wants.”
I liked the restaurant’s design with plenty of sections for friends and families. The booths are large and comfortable with one booth seating 10 people as well as tables for two. There is a raised seating section in front of the stage.
The back patio, dining room, and lounge are perfect for private parties and wedding receptions with help from their event planners. Lolita’s already has become known as “The Best New Place for birthdays and bachelorette parties” locally, voted because there is such fun and interaction. The mariachis will sing happy birthday to you along with a bunch of other secrets Eric will not reveal.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the DJ and group play with no cover or minimum. Wednesdays and Thursdays the DJ performs alone.
Eric described his menu, “We offer five-star dining at a two-star price.” You have to come to Lolita’s to see the holograms and taste the food everybody is raving about! That is worth the trip!
Open from 11:30 am to dinner from 7 pm to 3 am. For information, call 272-1389. Lolita’s Cantina & Tequila Bar is located at 6605 South Las Vegas Boulevard, in Town Square, Ste. 207, just South of the Mandalay Bay Resort www.lolitascantina.com
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