Her name is Lolita, and she’s a sexy Mexican on the site of Nemo, a South of Fifth Street pioneer. Always magical, the sprawling space has been transformed into a permanent party with a studied, shabby-chic décor that resembles nothing so much as a House of Blues.
Waiters trailing dry-ice smoke swing by the tables with silver bowls of tart, grapefruit granita and free shots of tequila to get the night going. Why not? Follow it up with flowery sangria or margaritas made with hand-squeezed juices and freshly muddled herbs. Though a far cry fancier (and pricier) than a late-night taco joint, Lolita serves plenty of cheesy, fatty, fried fare that pairs best with lots of cocktails.
Ambience: Drippy candelabras and glittering chandeliers lend a bordello-esque vibe, and a brilliant DJ fills the space with everything from reggae to old-school disco. A big black leather sofa makes a prime spot for drinking, with mid-century black-and-white films projected in the background. A gilt-edged mirror is propped against an elegant old rubber tree, mismatched chairs are covered in red or green velvet, and the marble tables are graced with blood red roses. If it all sounds geared to Edward and Bella fans, it is. On one visit, we spotted two bachelorettes in tiaras, a few guys in Mexican hats and a girl with a stick-on mustache that moved from her lip to forehead to underarm as the night played out.
What Didn't Work