In a sense, Lala's origins trace to 1988 when future owners Horacio Weschler Ferrari and Mario Balul moved to the United States. Both came to California with a commitment to their Argentinian culture, a profound appreciation for the United States, and a resolute desire to create something that fused the best of both worlds.
Horacio, who has an extensive restaurant background, met Mario, a trained architect, in 1990, and they quickly became close friends with many shared ambitions and interests. By 1995, they jointly conceptualized their future restaurant and set about the task of finding the right location and space to realize their vision. This vision combined their nostalgic memories of Argentinian dining savored in an unhurried and uniquely social fashion with the kind of reasonable prices and appealing setting that would encourage repeat business. In April of 1996, Lala's opened its doors to an appreciative public.
Mario and Horacio are dedicated to a "hands-on" approach to restaurant management. The owners can be found at Lala's every day insuring consistent attention to details and the utmost quality in their cuisine and customer service. Such steadfast attention reflects the passion with which Mario and Horacio regard their restaurant. True to their Argentinian roots, excellent dining for these two is inextricably linked with socializing, pleasure, and with life itself.
Lala's most distinctive offering, of course, is its food. The menu is imaginatively balanced with traditional Argentinian favorites and a nod to the best of California cuisine. Perhaps most important to the discriminating connoisseur of Argentinian food is the high quality selection of meats offered at Lala's. This is a point of great pride to the owners who insist on only the highest grade of meat available. Fortunately for Lala's customers, however, this insistence on high caliber ingredients does not translate into high costing entrees! This uncommon combination of quality and affordability has made all of the difference at Lala's, and the owners are smart enough to know that this in great part accounts for their regularly returning customers.
Lala's attractive setting (compliments of Mario's aesthetic sensibilities! with its comfortable and varied seating options, ample patio space, and richly colored interior provide Lalas' diners with a casual, friendly and appealing backdrop. The space merges the warmth and conviviality of the Latin American dining experience with the conveniences so prized in contemporary modern life provided parking, and proximity to shops and pedestrian areas. Furthermore, the successful presence of Lala's is so great that it has resulted in a kind of gravitational pull and has tipped the balance of Melrose's visitors to this area of the famous street.
The unstoppable success of Lala's on Melrose has resulted in the opening of a second location in Studio City. Here too one can find the reliable and friendly service, charming atmosphere, and delectable food that have firmly established Lala's reputation. No doubt this second Lala's will soon, like its predecessor, transform its location into a destination.