I know that it has been so long since my last post and I apologize but life happens sometimes…however let me introduce you to one of my new FAVORITE Orange County spots!

Tucked away in a quaint little corner is a restaurant that if you’re not paying attention to, you might just miss it. A group of friends and I met up for dinner and cocktails one night, we were all unprepared for the huge artwork that hung above the booths. With her dark, deep eyes, strong stance and as many of my friends pointed out, she had HUGE feet! I looked up at the painting of this somber woman gently holding a pistol in one hand and a jug of rum in the other as I took my seat alongside my friends.

My guy friends expressed fear over a woman who held these particular items in her hand and immediately saw the danger in her eyes. Over the rim of my Sangria glass, I looked at her in awe as I saw a powerful, independent woman who was taking charge of her life.

I have heard the story behind the painting and would love to tell you all myself, but I challenge you to go to Lola Gaspar located at 211 W. 2nd St., Santa Ana, Ca 92701. Ask the employees the story behind Miss Lola and be prepared because the story only enhances your experience at Lola Gaspar which is located in the Santa Ana Art District.

With its small, charming patio in front and black leather booths and barstools inside, Lola Gaspar is Santa Ana chic. Gothic chandeliers, candlelight and brick walls provide you with an escape from life in Southern California. With Spanish inspired dishes and Sangria which is to die for, (I like to think of myself as a small plate connoisseur), these are the dishes I have had the pleasure of tasting:

The Oaxacan quesadilla is delicious! It has oaxacan cheese, goat cheese, and queso fresco with squash blossoms, which are often subbed by roasted chilies when they are out of season.

Float away in taco heaven as you sample the Carne Asada, Fish and Duck tacos. Yes, I said duck. Wrinkle your noses now, but I guarantee that EVERYONE has duck when they’re at Lola Gaspar. Dress your tacos with sides of onion, cilantro and different salsas. Ask for the Habanero Salsa, it’s spicy but only adds more flavor to your meal.

If you like to be trendy, order the Duck Confit Fries. I say trendy because every time I’m at Lola Gaspar, I always see an order of these fries on every table. The little pieces of chopped duck are layered with an amazing sauce and melted cheese.

I have been here on a Friday night with a dinner reservation for 10 people and I’ve been here on a casual Sunday evening where we sat at the bar and munched. If I weren’t so hung up on living the Sex and the City single lifestyle, I would probably make Lola Gaspar one of my favorite date spots as well.

I encourage people to get out there and find restaurants like Lola Gaspar with an ever changing seasonal menu. Ask your waiter for suggestions as you may try a new dish you never thought to sample. Skip the generic chain restaurants attached to every major mall. These tucked away little restaurants are where you need to be.

Lola Gaspar is open Mon-Friday 11am-2am. Their siesta hour is 3-6:30pm Mon-Friday- drink and food specials. Late night specials are from Sun-Thurs. 10pm – Close. Come by on the weekends, Sat. 5:30pm – 2am and Sun. 5:30-12:30am.

Call ahead for the highly anticipated Sunday reverse brunch this Spring which will start at 3pm and feature an outdoor BBQ.

For reservations call 714.972.1172.

Thank you to the owner Jerry for being the mastermind behind Lola Gaspar as this is a favorite amongst me and my friends and to the wonderful staff that provides great customer service which has gotten lost in our society today and who humored me by telling me the story of Miss Lola Gaspar.

Your S.(cout) on the Town.