A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Another week, another enormous new restaurant opens in the Mission. This week it’s ~LOLINDA~, the latest project from Adriano Paganini of Starbelly, Delarosa, Super Duper, and Beretta. As previously reported on tablehopper, the new spot takes over the previous Medjool space and, yes, the roof deck will be happening—but not for a few months. In the meantime, the restaurant is open, with a focus on everything Argentine. It seats more than 200 on the ground-floor and mezzanine levels. Each level has its own full bar, with wine, beer, and a solid selection of cocktails. In the wine department, look for Argentine bottles, of course, as well as pours from Chile, Portugal, and Spain. Cocktails will be from bar manager Lane Ford, who is coming over from Beretta to create both traditional and creative options.
As mentioned above, the space is huge, and the décor fits with the Argentine theme. The tables are large, with rough-hewn wooden tops and bases of wrought metal that have the look of barn equipment or wagon wheels, as do the light fixtures. Turns out the table bases are indeed salvaged from factory equipment, so it is all muy auténtico. The high ceilings and mezzanine level add to the feeling of being in a fancy barn. But the gaucho rusticity is also sophisticated, with dim lighting, a tango-influenced soundtrack, and a sleek aesthetic. A mural of a bull, painted by local artist Shawn Feeney, covers one wall. Tufted leather banquettes are a cozy spot for a hot date, but there’s plenty of space for groups too.
The food, developed by chef Alejandro Morgan, sticks to classic Argentine dishes. At the opening party, there were empanadas of beef, corn, or chicken, ceviches, and a variety of skewered grilled meats. They are also serving choripán, the classic sandwich of chorizo and chimichurri on a crusty roll. The focus, of course, is on various cuts of grilled beef (seven cuts, all grass-fed and grain-finished), and they’ve got a few offal offerings too (hello, tripe). You can look at the menu here (along with the cocktail and wine list). Hours are Sun-Thu 5:30pm-12am and Fri-Sat 5:30pm-1am. 2518 Mission St. at 21st St., 415-550-6970.
The entryway, with roses and a carved wood screen. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.