Lolo is a darling name for a darling place that might as easily call itself Perspicacity, so acute is this new Alberta Street tapas restaurant’s understanding of, well, everything. Open, modern and the color of toffee, it’s a little industrial, a little arty. The servers—young, smiling, looking good all in black—get you seated along a cozy wall of banquettes while giving you an ample moment to “ooh!” at the long, slim rectangle of window into the kitchen. It’s kitchen theater, where the chefs are relaxed enough to give a little wave while they whip up what can easily vie for Best Potato Chips Ever: thick but not too, with sea salt and rosemary. These are a must with the classic cocktails, served small and cold and with a twist: a Manhattan made with rum, a Spanish brandy margarita. The tapas and raciones (slightly larger than tapas) are sleek and sexy: Niblets of tender octopus and piquillo peppers set on tiny skewers look both futuristic and like something to toss into your lover’s mouth. Two pillowy little cod cakes get tarted up with a citrusy bottarga mayo, and lamb ribs (with fingerling potatoes, olives and wilted greens) taste of roast and smoke, the tender, tender meat coming right off the bone while retaining a nice little chew. What could be better? The caramel flan, homage to what heat can do to cream and sugar, and the small, smart list of Spanish, French and West Coast wines, most under $35. (NR)
Signature dish: Too early to say. But get the lamb ribs!
Standouts: Did we mention the lamb ribs?
Regrets: Nada. Absolutamente nada.