Mount Pleasant Magazine Nov/Dec 2023

39 | | Mom-and-pop restaurants are places where you feel the love because the chef in the kitchen treats you like family. Of course these days, franchises and chains make up the bulk of dining options, while mom-and-pop establishments are becoming rarer. But, there are still some that are going strong, even as other longtime family-owned restaurants end their run. After 28 years operating in the heart of Mount Pleasant, the Mustard Seed closed its doors this October. “I opened the original Mustard Seed over 28 years ago, and it’s been quite a journey,” said Sal Parco, former owner of Mustard Seed. “Along the way, I’ve had the privilege to serve the greater Mount Pleasant community, even opening additional restaurant concepts that were frequented by my cherished customers. It has been my great honor to be a part of the restaurant community, and I’ll never be able to express my appreciation toward the many customers that I now consider to be my family.” Feeling grateful and fulfilled, Parco knows it’s time to “pass the baton.” That baton has been passed to LoLA’s owner Jeffrey Filosa. As one chapter ends, another one begins. Mount Pleasant residents love traveling out to Park Circle for the creative cuisine and local flair. From bars to restaurants, the culinary scene in Park Circle is on fire. If you have a craving for Louisiana cooking, but maybe haven’t yet been able to make it out to LoLA in Park Circle, you’re in luck because they’re opening a second LoLA location in the building where Mustard Seed once resided. “We have been attempting to open a restaurant in Mount Pleasant for 35 years,” Filosa said. “My family is truly excited to finally have a place where we live. We are a true Ma and Pa restaurant. My sons and I are cooking in the kitchen and running the front of the house." LoLA’s cuisine is special to Filosa’s heart; Cajun and Creole-style food. “We are a blue collar, tasty food establishment. That’s what put us on the map. Creole food is a mixture of West African, French, Spanish and Native American influences.” “I worked at some of the best fried seafood Ma and Pa restaurants in the panhandle of Florida during my college days,” Filosa continued . “I started working in New Orleans, studied and perfected the art of the cuisine. The soul and heart in Cajun-Creole food is just like soul food and just like real Italian food.” Filosa, his family and team are ready to make a big impact in Mount Pleasant. LoLA is a place where you can delight in the vibe and atmosphere, enjoy delicious food and experience an authentic mom-and-pop restaurant. “My team is my family,” Filosa added. “We all have been working hard. I run my staff like a football team. I’m the head coach and GM. When you come to LoLA’s, you will feel the love.” Indeed, you will feel the love. There’s no doubt you’ll become a regular in no time. BY MAURICE J. FRAZIER Spicing Things Up Mustard Seed shutters after 3 decades; LoLA cajuncreole cuisine to come our town