Loro (South Lamar Location)
January 26, 2024
Hello hello! Here’s one that I have wanted to try since I moved to Austin over a year ago, Loro! Unfortunately, I didn’t go when they were doing their ramen special, but I'll definitely be back to try it out because I looove ramen! Loro is an “order at the bar” Asian BBQ fusion restaurant that has a lot of personality.
To start I must share my biases, I don't like the “order at the bar” style of restaurants. It never fails to give me a crowded, confused atmosphere. Unfortunately, my friend and I did get shuffled around the restaurant because certain parts of the bar were closed for ordering and no one knew where to go. We just got lost in the sauce. Also, I despise QR code menus. The slow death of paper menus is also the slow death of my soul. Loro did have paper menus stuck to the bar top and a big menu posted up behind the bar. However, when we got to the bar top there was already a long line behind us. The print on the big menu was a little too small for me to see and it felt rude to peruse the paper menu with the line only growing. Despite this, we were able to order some yummy things!
Pet peeves aside, the food was very interesting, to start we had the Crunchy Sweet Corn Fritters with Habanero Aioli, topped with a large bunch of cilantro ($8.75). First Bite: crispy, sweet, with a nip of salt and a twinge of heat. These little balls of goodness were the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and “spicy”. Though I would've loved more spice from the habanero aioli, I understand why they went for a more subdued spice (not everyone wants their face melted, like me). The salty fritter batter beautifully balanced out the sweet corn and the habanero sauce was a great little oomph to round everything out. Loved every bite and the portion was great to share!
Next, I got the Kale and Asian Pear Salad ($11.95). First Bite: Fresh with a tanginess of lemon dressing. Overall it was very satisfying. Just a few things I wish were slightly different. The Asian pears were cut in large thin wedges that made it hard to experience all the flavors at once. After picking off the pears and eating them separately for a time, I eventually broke off pieces to eat with everything else. When doing so I realized there was a whole dimension of flavor I was missing out on that brought the dish to the next level. I wish they spread out the flavor so I didn't have to work so hard to experience the salad in its entirety. The flavor was great and the greens were fresh, so overall a good salad!
Next, I had the Curry Marinated Shrimp ($14.95). This was a combination of shrimp on a bed of rice, with an assortment of pickled and not pickled veggies, topped with a bunch of cilantro. Before I took my first bite I removed a pile of cilantro garnish. I don't avidly hate cilantro but I don’t want a whole mouthful of it either. Anyway First Bite: a good nip of heat from the curry marinade and a gentle sweetness from the pickled veggies. The shrimp were well-cooked and not over-marinated. They provided good flavor and balanced well with the white rice. My only critique would be the temperature of the dish. The rice and the vegetables were cold (however not like they were just taken out of the fridge) and the shrimp were warm (not hot). It was confusing and I wasn't sure if the whole dish was supposed to be cold or if it had cooled off in the serving window.
Either way, the flavor was there and I enjoyed it.
I didn't get a chance to try the dessert but the key lime pie piqued my interest. I simply ran out of time on this one. Overall I enjoyed the experience and loved sharing one of my culinary excursions with my friend. I'll try to come back to test out that ramen and key lime pie soon and I'll add an update when I do.