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A Couple Glitzy Restaurants Eke Out a Few Stars in ‘the Seaport We Deserve’

Insights into the dining experiences at Lola 42 and Mastro’s in the Seaport District, plus a review of El Palmar in Eastie

Sushi at Lola 42
Sushi at Lola 42
Lola 42/Facebook

Tableside Martinis in Seaport

Lamenting the seemingly overnight development explosion in the Seaport, the Boston Globe’s Devra First braves the now-dense neighborhood, full of “twinkling white lights” but void of nearly anything “purely practical” — “The Seaport we have is the Seaport we deserve, for better and worse,” she notes — to review Mastro’s Ocean Club and Lola 42, which occupy the same building and always seem to be full, despite the fact that “no one who lives here seems aware of” them.

A relative of Nantucket’s Lola 41, Lola 42 “replicates that restaurant’s so-random-it-works combination of American comfort food and sushi,” First writes. While it’s “not a place for sushi snobs,” its successes include an Anata roll with spicy tuna and flavor that “stands out and lifts the roll above generic territory.” She calls the rest of the menu “an incoherent assortment” with “pleasant surprises,” including the Lola burger, scallop and shrimp with coconut curry, and lobster fried rice. One star out of four — “fair.”

As for Mastro’s, “tuna is a star,” according to First, and it comes in tostadas, as a main course (bigeye tuna), and as sashimi, which she calls “fish for the steak lover.” While “the steaks themselves are less impressive,” the restaurant excels at sides, including “lobster-laden mashed potatoes” and black truffle gnocchi. Cocktails are “swiftly inebriating,” and the service is excellent, from bartenders to servers to the person preparing tableside martinis. It earns one more star from First than Lola 42, giving it a “good” rating.

Enchiladas in Eastie

Marc Hurwitz visits El Palmar, a Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant in East Boston, for his latest review in the Dig. It is “truly a neighborhood restaurant,” he writes, and a menu highlight is the grilled burrito stuffed with queso fresco. Simple tacos are served on lightly charred corn tortillas, and Hurwitz calls out the beef tacos for the smokiness of the grilled meat. A chunkier guacamole has a strong onion flavor, and the enchiladas verdes picantes are spicy with hot peppers in the salsa verde. Dishes in the Salvadoran category include tilapia pupusas and hen soup, and there are beverages like mango smoothies available.

At Mastro’s Ocean Club and LoLa 42 in Seaport, an Escape From the Known City [BG]
A Street Food Spot That Even the Food Nerds Don’t Know About [Dig Boston]

LoLa 42

22 Liberty Dr., Boston, MA 02210 (617) 951-4002 Visit Website

Mastro's Ocean Club

3000 Northeast 32nd Avenue, , FL 33308 (954) 561-4800 Visit Website

El Palmar

290 Bennington St,, East Boston, MA 02128 (617) 569-8600 Visit Website