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Mar 29, 2007 03:50 PM

Spain Restaurant in Echo Park- horrible at best

I've read some mixed reviews about this place and thought I'd give it a try for myself. My husband is from Spain and we've pretty much been to every Spanish themed places in town and this has got to be the worst.

Where do I begin? The tapas were barely passable at best and were such tiny portions for the price. We ordered mixed paella and what we got was poorly cooked yellow rice with sketchy quality meat and seafood. There was no hint of saffron, and the rice, mind you we were not expecting Bomba or Valenciana, but it was definitely not paella rice. If we could have drowned our disappointment in alcohol, that might have saved the evening but our pitcher of sangria was all ice and hardly any wine. I kid you not. When the waiter brought out the pitcher, we almost laughed because the thing was packed from bottom to top w/ ice. We begrudgingly finished it and when asked the waiter, very nicely, to leave out some of the ice for the second pitcher. Well, the second one arrived with just as much ice as the first one.

When we left the restaurant, my husband shook his head and said he was ashamed that the place was pretending to represent the food of his homeland and that he would not want anyone to think that such practice of cheating customers (trying to skimp on wine in the sangria) represents typical Spanish hospitality.

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  1. I've lived near this place for 21 years and never felt the need to check it out. Now I guess I'll never have to...

    1. Spain is OK in a pinch for takeout. I get the roast chicken, some of the marinated olives and maybe some boquerones, lomo or queso manchego if I don't already have some at home. A bag of salad greens and some decent bread (NOT from Spain). It works, pretty well, in fact, if the chicken has been recently roasted. Their olives are good in a marinated, garlic kind of style. Eat in the restaurant - NEVER. Also, I get a better price/quality on the cheese from the Russians in Weho, go figure. Spain is a good Friday after work stop to pull together a quick dinner to eat in before heading out for the evening.

      2 Replies
      1. re: corydon

        I agree with Corydon. However, I have had a similar experience as with Hungry Kat -- I went there and it was laughably bad. Everything was terrible, an insult really. And they "ran out" of AliOli, which is the real reason I go to Spanish places.

        I have only had tragic experiences with Spanish places in LA...maybe we should band together and create a good place

        1. re: echoparkdirt

          When it first opened, I was thrilled since I lived down the street and wanted a local place to walk to--yeah, well that didn't work out. But I agree with Corydon and the chickens to go are good in a pinch. I'm sure they benefit from all that traffic heading home in the evenings.

      2. I have to say, we must have been really lucky with our decision to first try their empanadas. Although I can't comment on anything else on their extensive menu, their empanadas, especially the chicken ones, are the best I've had in town. They are crusty and juicy...really divine stuff.

        1. I've found the roast chicken kind of greasy, and the skin flabby. It's cheap, but... so is Zankou, and that's much better. However, I went with a friend and we agreed that the tapas were not bad... particularly if you bring a good loaf of crusty bread, since theirs is cottony crap.

          1. A friend and I went a few years ago. I posted, but cannot find it. It was really bad. We both were like, WTF??!! We had the same experience with the Sangrial. Meal was so forgettable that I have no idea what we ordered.
            My favorite thing about the place was the cook who had his own little taco stand in the parking lot during the evenings/nights. He made his own chorizo and it was AMAZING!! Not sure if he is still there. That is as close as I would get to the place again - the parking lot!! ;-)