(FOX40.COM) — The first Puerto Rican Restaurant in Sacramento known as Lola’s Lounge is owned by a mother and daughter who say they are proud to serve up a taste of their culture to to visitors.
“I love coming to work every single day because I get to show people something that is normal to me, that I grew up eating, but that someone has never had in their life,” said co-owner of Lola’s Lounge, Lola Serrano.
Serrano runs the restaurant with her mother. Together, the mother-daughter duo is breaking boundaries in the restaurant industry by serving dishes that represent their roots and unique flavors of Latin America.
“People ask me ‘what’s pernil, what’s gandules, what’s maduritos,’ and I’m able to share that with them and it’s beautiful,” Serrano said.
In case you’re wondering, those are slow-cooked pot roast, pigeon peas and plantains.
Lola’s Lounge serves Spanish and Latin American dishes on top of Puerto Rican classics. Lola Serrano loves sharing a taste of her Puerto Rican Heritage through food.
Serrano said that Lola’s Lounge first opened its doors in Elk Grove in 2013. They later closed that location and opened the restaurant on Broadway and 16th streets in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – with a new vision. The new restaurant is filled with unique paintings.
“On our island, it’s a very colorful island … there’s just different colors on the buildings kind of everywhere you look so we wanted to bring a piece of that here to the restaurant,” Serrano said. “My mother Annette Serrano is actually an artist, so on the walls, every single painting that you see is actually done by her.”
Pictures of Serrano’s grandmother also adorn the walls.
“The matriarch, she is where everything comes from,” Serrano said. “All of the recipes are from my Abuelita and have been in my family for a very long time.”
The outdoor dining area honors Serrano’s abuelita.
“Most of these plants come straight from my abuelita’s garden,” Serrano said.
The garden is called “El Jardín de Elda.”
“Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to see the restaurant. She did pass a little bit beforehand, but this is why we have this space for her,” Serrano said.
Lola’s Lounge also features bands of all genres and specialty sangrias. She said it was her mother’s idea.
“The music gets people excited, it’s something different,” Serrano said. “That’s just how she grew up…that’s still who she is. She is an artist and so she definitely loves to have that space and be able to give that to other up-and-coming artists in our area as well.”
Serrano said that family is engraved in every aspect of the Latina-owned business and the Puerto Rican flag is proudly displayed throughout.
“For a really long time our flag was actually banned by the government, so we weren’t allowed to display our flag and display our heritage and be proud of it,” Serrano said. “Once that was released…now Puerto Ricans put our flag everywhere we possibly can,” Serrano said.