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Mar 24, 2007 07:18 PM

Authentic Spanish food in Los Angeles?

A group of us would love to go to an authentic Spanish (NOT Mexican!!!!) restaurant and were hoping for some good suggestions. I read about "Spain Restaurant" on Glendale Blvd., but a friend of ours and her husband, who is from Spain, went there and said the food was horrible.

If anybody can think of a delicious restaurant with some laid back atmosphere for a group and does not cost an arm and a leg please post a reply.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. There's a lovely, authentic Spanish restaurant serving tapas, paella and much, much more called La Paella on San Vicente & W. 3rd in Los Angeles. We shared in our friends' birthday celebration (they recently moved to Los Angeles from Barcelona & Malaga respectively) a few months ago. The garlic stuffed squid, mushrooms with Spanish chorizo, artichokes with jamon serrano, etc. The paella was pleasant as well, served in a fashion reminiscent of my culinary apprenticeship in Madrid. The atmosphere is very "homey" with Spanish knicknacks throughout.

    1 Reply
    1. re: melondra

      I second La Paella. You definitely feel like you're dining in someone's living room -- but in a good way. Lovely paella. Delicious sangria. I went for an anniverary, but it's laid back enough for just a casual outing.

    2. I don't know how "authentic" it claims to be, but the tapas at La Luna Negra are pretty good. It also serves up entrees and great desserts.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chica

        I also like La Luna Negra. Some nights, they even have a flamenco band with dancers.

        1. re: SauceSupreme

          I wouldn't call La Luna Negra an authentic place, though... while they have some tasty tapas, it's not at all like anyplace in Spain. Doesn't make it bad, just not quintessentially Spanish.

          The region's Food Police would immediately have their way with any restaurant trying to be an authentic place that does tapas like they do in Spain -- pinchos up on the bar in plain air, other tapas just behind the bar at room temperature.

          And yet, somehow, one doesn't get sick in Spain... hm... thinkthinkponderponder.

          I'd love to find a Catalan restaurant in SoCal but I think I'm probably screwed.

      2. Not sure if this kind of restaurant actually exists in the L.A. area. As far as I know, the only truly authentic Spanish restaurant is called Viva Madrid and is on the outskirts of the city. Claremont, I believe.

        1. I don't know of any "authentic" Spanish restaurants but if anyone would know, it would be La Espanola Meats in Harbor City. My wife's former work colleague is from El Salvador, but whose family is originally from Spain, and she says that this is the only place in Southern California that she knows of where she can get most things for Spanish cuisine.

          The blogger, "Triplecreme," has a current writeup.

          La Espanola Meats
          25020 Doble Ave
          Harbor City, CA 90710

          5 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Just found out by reading a little more on La Espanola - they do paella as well, but only on Saturdays and by reservation only...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Yeah, and bocadillos can have them make it with jamon or chorizo or tuna. Then you can crack open a bottle of wine and canned asparagus and eat on their patio.

              La Espanola recomended Viva Madrid in Claremont. They say every other restaurant in the LA area has alot work on if they are trying to be authentic Spanish restaurants.

              1. re: graffitipassion

                Great recs for La Espanola and Viva Madrid... The accompaniments of wine and asparagus sounds wonderful... Thank you!

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  My friend from Mallorca took me to La Paella on my bday and it was delicious! I believe everyone that works there is from Spain too. I was wondering if anyone has checked out The Courtyard?


                2. re: graffitipassion

                  If Viva Madrid is the most authentic spanish restaurant then that's sad news.

                  We went this weekend, and as much as I love the atmosphere of the restaurant and the really friendly service, the taste of the food was just not there. Add to it 1 hour wait and pretty pricey dishes ($5 for 3 pieces of overcooked shrimp?) I would say you'll be better off saving $ and just go to spain.

            2. This tiny hole in the wall restaurant in San Pedro pier serves really good authentic spanish food. The owner is from Leon, Spain and she is the sweetest lady you ever meet. The restaurant is located on the left side of the Korean looking gate, not inside the food court area.

              Her paella is one of the best I ever tasted....  

              Rincon Espanol 79 Berth San Pedro, CA 90731