?A good Spanish restaurant? Tapas?
Hello out there!
Having just moved here I am overwhelmed by the myriad of choices and excellent restaurants here in Sou Cal. Yet, there is one thing I have not found: A Spanish restaurant, let alone a decent one, where they would ideally also serve TAPAS!!!?!!! Preferably somewhere on the Westside, but if it's really good, I will "travel".
Any suggestions, recommendations?
Having lived in Madrid and sampled many fine examples of tapas, I would tell you that no restaurant in L.A. has met even my average standards. Alegria in Long Beach and the others suggested are Americanized, toned down versions. There was a fellow who had an authentic Spanish restaurant with decent flamenco dancing on the Westside, but the place closed several years ago. I just returned from Miami and on Calle Ocho (and elsewhere) there are a handful of successful Spanish restaurants. If I discover anything local that is worthwhile, I will certainly contact you!
A suggesion (not a recommendation since I've never been there) is Cava on 3rd Street, and that is in the West LA area. I have been to the aformentioned Alegria on Pine Street, and I can't complain about the food. The lemon drop margarita that the bartender suggested is a different story. Another place that is good is La Luna Negra on Green Street in Old Town Pasadena. Don't bother going on Friday or Saturday evening, it's quite crowded because they have flamenco dancing.
One place I WOULD'NT suggest is Cafe Tu Tu Tango in City Walk. It's not very good there.
Take my suggestions with a grain of salt, I'm a tapas newbie.
If you're willing to drive out to Claremont, there's a place called Viva Madrid tucked in the Village (off Harvard, I believe) that is good. Very small, lovely ambience, maybe 8-10 tables altogether.
LA is woefully lacking in terms of good Spanish restaurants. The only place in LA that has decent food is La Paella (on San Vacenti). They have a fairly large selection of traditional tapas and make an acceptable paella. Most of the time I fill up on many plates of tapas and some good Spanish wine.
An even better alternative is to have your own spanish party with the help of La Espanola Meats, Inc. This place is an importer and retailer of Spanish foods and also sells excellent paella. They sell everything that you desire. They are located in Harbor City.
Thank you all for your constructive answers, which prove two things:
1) People in California love their food and care enough about to share their experience.
2) That I have not found a good Spanish restaurant so far, is not due to my being too, well, uhm, stupid.
Still, I refuse to give up hope and will check back here -- either to finally find a good tip or to let you know when I found something. Deal?