What do Italy, Greece, Portugal, China, Korea, Japan, and parts of the U.S. have in common? Geographically, they’re all positioned along a latitude of 41 degrees north of the Equator. Culinarily, they can be found under one roof—or, in this case, a plein air courtyard—at Lola 41, the restaurant of the White Elephant Palm Beach. Come with us on a tour of its international menu and rack up frequent-dining miles without the jet lag.
Art of the Algarve
The Portuguese-style grilled octopus may be the tastiest and tenderest we’ve had this side of the Atlantic. A generous portion of tentacles served with roasted Yukons, cracked coriander, and an herby pistou, this dish is downright addictive.
The hoisin-lacquered baby back ribs are guaranteed to be messy—but that’s part of the fun. The combination of classic Cantonese sticky soy glaze, smoky pork, chili, and cilantro brings to mind the excellent street food along Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.
Feel the Heat
They had us at bulgogi. Korea’s famous dish of thinly sliced, marinated, stir-fried beef is in itself a thing of beauty, but combined with egg noodles, Chinese broccoli, chilies, and fried garlic, it reaches new epicurean heights. Did we mention the chilies? Indulge at your own peril.
On a Roll
The sushi menu at Lola 41 can best be described as “creative.” Take the Capt’n José roll: spicy salmon, cucumber topped with salmon, kiwi, black tobiko, and sesame aji mirin aioli. Or the Green Light, with spicy hamachi, Granny Smith apple topped with kiwi, ponzu, and lime zest. Not exactly purist, but it works. If you’re more into the classics, they’re all here too. Level up with a libation from the sake menu, such as the ultra-polished Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo “Otter Fest 23.”
The states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and California all cross the forty-first parallel, so their cuisines are deliciously represented. The macaroni and cheese, with four cheeses and toasted breadcrumbs, is a study in all-American decadence. The XO Nantucket Bay scallops and lobster benedict nod to Lola’s ACK roots. But the Duck & Waffles tops them all. A slab of Peking thigh and a sunny-side-up egg on a waffle, drizzled with coriander syrup and pea shoots, this singular, melting pot of a dish may just be the key to world peace.