Since the very start of this blog back in 2011, I’ve been asked a question that has gone unanswered this whole time: What is your favorite restaurant in Wichita?
I’ve played the political game for so long not wanting to choose a favorite. Partly because I really didn’t know. Partly because I loved so many different types of food. And then because I wanted to eat at every restaurant in Wichita. I finally made my way out to every known restaurant in town. Of course when I reached that goal, three new Mexican restaurants have opened that I still need to get to. But I have a hard time believing, they will exceed the bar that has been set.
It’s time to just pick one. After 8 and a half years of blogging, I can finally say my favorite restaurant in town is Lola’s Bistro.
2146 N. Collective Ln Ste 102
Wichita, KS 67206
Closed on Monday
Tuesday – Saturday: 5pm – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 2pm
Lola’s Bistro is an upscale restaurant offering New American cuisine with French, Italian & Asian influences. It’s a place where so many different styles of food are fused together to create their own unique dishes and flavors. I really believe there isn’t anything like them in town which helps separates them from the rest.
Of course this is all personal opinion but from someone who has been to hundreds and hundreds of places in town, this is tops for me. When my girlfriend and I finally had our first date night post-baby, it was Lola’s Bistro we immediately went to.
If you ever go, here’s a look into what you can expect on your visit. One of the things we have enjoyed about Lola’s was the starter. It’s called an amuse-bouche which is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. They are different from appetizers because they are served free and just a chef’s selection. The term is French and literally means “mouth amuser” and gives you a little glimpse of what is to come. The amuse-bouche we had was a single stuffed pepper. It had a small bit of heat to it but was toned down by the cheese and herbs stuffed inside. The small little bite just got our taste buds craving more.
Of course, we had to have at least a drink or two. Our favorite cocktail we had was the haven mojito. It wasn’t overly sweet or citrus-y like many mojitos. If you love coconuts, this is the drink for you. The coconut flavor really stuck out but in a dangerous way because I could have had 6-7 of these without realizing it was alcohol.
For our appetizer, we went with the duck bao buns. It combined the flavors of bahn mi’s, bun and duck all in one. I loved the texture of the steamed bun. It was like eating a pillow with shredded duck inside. I’d also highly recommend the pork belly bao buns, lumpia, or grilled shishito peppers.
On a previous visit, we had the Hamachi crudo which was equally as excellent.
For our meals, my girlfriend went with the miso glazed walu while I went with my favorite dish in all of town, the duck breast. This entree is a seared duck breast, served medium rare over wilted spinach and wild mushrooms with sweet potato puree and port wine sauce.
The dishes were so heavenly. Often times, you’ll go to restaurants and the main dishes are great but the sides seem so quickly and lazily thrown on there. What we have always loved about Lola’s Bistro was their attention to ‘complete meals’ meaning they always have paired the right sides with entrees to give an amazing combination. The flavor profiles of each dish were amazing. From the tender slices of duck meshed with the wild mushrooms and sweet potato puree, it’s something I’ve never had before in town. The creativity and attention to detail has always impressed us.
On previous visits, we’ve gone with the lobster risotto and beef cheek raviolis and have never been dissatisfied with a meal.
Every single time we’ve ever been to Lola’s, our plates have been cleaned off. We’ve never had leftovers because we refuse to let a crumb waste their time sitting in a to go container.
Most recently we decided to keep it going and get dessert. You can never go wrong with cheesecake and Lola’s Bistro continued to deliver. The raspberry compote of sorts that came on the plate mixed with the cheesecake was a “close your eyes, take a bite and dream happy thoughts” types of bites. I’m actually closing my eyes writing this and dreaming about it as we speak.
….and it doesn’t end there. Every meal at Lola’s Bistro ends with a simple little treat just like at the beginning. We received a bite-sized puff pastry to cleanse our palate.
With date nights, sometimes you feel like you have to spend an arm and a leg. That has never been the case for us because a majority of the meals cost between $17-25. It’s been very affordable for us. In the last year, we’ve gone three times and have cherished every moment of it. I get that dating me can sometimes be pretty tough to do so the least I can offer is a good date night meal. Surely that’s a good trade off for the months of headaches I provide.
At a service aspect, I’ve never had a bad time there and always been taken care of. From the very first time I stepped in to try them up until now where they do know me, I’ve been treated the same. As an anonymous customer on day one to this random dude who happens to have a blog, the service has never been any different and that was one of my favorite things about Lola’s Bistro. I’ve sent friends and family up there to eat and their experiences have been the same.
Obviously there have been a ton of restaurants I’ve frequented, even more often than this one that I have loved. I’ve became friends with and met so many people in the business. I’m a regular at many other places in town. But the next time someone ask me, “What is your favorite restaurant in Wichita?”, I’ll have an answer for them.
It’s Lola’s Bistro.
Go check them out and follow them on Facebook to see what specials they may have. Let them know Wichita By E.B. sent you and as always, here’s the menu: