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Looking for Spanish-style Tapas in OC

Chubbypanda Sep 26, 2006 03:54 PM

Hey all,

An old college friend and I were looking to grab some Spanish-style tapas and a few glasses of wine after work a few nights ago, and came to the realization that there are very few places in Orange County that serve it. We ended up ordering a few appetizers and beers at a local microbrewery. It was somewhat disappointing. If any of you Chowhounds have some tapas restaurants you'd like to recommend, please do.

Note: We're frequent visitors to Robata-yaki (yakitori) and dim sum places. What we're looking for are the true Spanish tapas that we both enjoyed when we lived in the SanFran Bay Area.


- Chubbypanda


  1. Professor Salt Sep 26, 2006 07:14 PM


    1. e
      Ernie Sep 26, 2006 07:28 PM

      Tapas Restaurant in Newport Beach near John Wayne Airport. I went once a few years ago and enjoyed it


      1 Reply
      1. re: Ernie
        1000steps Sep 26, 2006 10:07 PM

        I have to respectfully disagree. I think Tapas restaurant in Newport is awful. One of the worst in all of OC.

      2. o
        OCBites Sep 26, 2006 07:30 PM

        When you say "very few", you are overstating the tapas scene in OC, Chubbypanda!

        There really aren't any true tapas options (at least good ones). However, every Tuesday chef Rick at Black Sheep Bistro in old town Tustin serves a huge plate of assorted authentic tapas (about 12-15 tastes) for $15. Plus, he has some good Spanish wines on his list... or, bring your own stemware and there's no corkage if you BYO.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OCBites
          elmomonster Sep 26, 2006 09:51 PM

          I've had the tapas platter at Black Sheep Bistro. As I've never had tapas before, I liked it, but my more experienced chowhound dining companion, Joy, who has had more tapas experience, and has cooked it herself commented that the food was merely so-so. Some items were cold, and although I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be or not, it made it less appetizing.

          That Tapas Restaurant in Newport Beach near the airport had a funny smell near the entrance, so I turned around and bolted. From the thumbs down on reviews I've read, I might have dodged a bullet.


        2. s
          SouthOCHound Sep 26, 2006 07:35 PM

          I'm thinking you could get some at the black sheep bistro in tustin, but I don't know about them being cheap. BTW, they do have my favorite tapas, cantimpalitos, the little paprika spiced pork sausages that make me drool! The only other spanish places that come to mind are the place called Tapas near John Wayne Airport [but the food is blech] and Catal in downtown disney, which I've never eaten at.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SouthOCHound
            brekkie_fan Sep 27, 2006 01:41 AM

            Tapas at Catal? Is that at the Uva Bar area? I guess I don't recall them off the main dining room (upstairs) menu.

            Oh, and yeah, Tapas in Newport is icky.

          2. c
            Chubbypanda Sep 26, 2006 11:47 PM

            I cry tears of bitter sadness. =(

            - Chubbypanda


            1. c
              cdmedici Sep 27, 2006 12:41 AM

              You should give Sejour a try. We used to go all the time to its previous incarnation called The Wine Merchant.

              Sejour is in Newport Beach in Lido Village. The new owners are trying to make it like a European Bistro as opposed to a pure wine bar when the Overstreets owned it.


              1. c
                Chubbypanda Sep 27, 2006 04:09 PM

                Well, Sejour and Black Sheep Bistro offer some hope. Thanks everone for your input. It's really appreciated.

                - Chubbypanda


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