No Reservations: Tables at Lola are growing scarce

Rumors of an eight-month wait notwithstanding, it’s still possible to snag a table at Lola, Michael “Iron Chef” Symon’s flagship restaurant on E. 4th St. Just don’t plan on getting in at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. Following Symon’s ascension to the position of Next Iron Chef – and his first televised victory, on Nov. 18, as defender of Kitchen Stadium – Lola has become a top destination for foodies far and wide. As a result, prime-time dinner hours are pretty much booked up through mid-January. But for diners who simply must have those beef-check pierogies, crispy sweetbreads, and smoked Berkshire pork chops with cheesy polenta, there are alternatives. For instance, consider a late-night visit, after 10 p.m. or so; as of today, at least, such tables were still available. Or consider dining on a weeknight: Mondays and Tuesdays are historically less hectic. Or be daring, and just stroll on in; in case of a last-minute no-show, you could get lucky. And if all else fails, belly up to the handsome bar, where seats can be had on a first-come, first-served basis. Skipping dinner and aiming for lunch is yet another option, although staffers report the walk-in trade is growing fast. Still, we had no trouble scoring hypothetical reservations via Open Table for two people at 1 p.m. on Dec. 5. And, finally, if your schedule is flexible, consider getting on the waiting list; in case of cancellations, staffers will give you a call. --- Elaine T. Cicora
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