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?A good Spanish restaurant? Tapas?

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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?

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  1. Try Alegria on Pine Avenue in Long Beach. I've eaten there a few times, and never been disappointed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cindy

      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!

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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?

            1. There was a place called Barcelona in North Hollywood that specialized in tapas and paella. They closed and supposedly moved somewhere in Glendale. My only hint would be that as Catalans, they would always promote the Sant'Jordi festival in LA. Now, if you can get to the festival, I'm sure someone there can help you. ANd then we can all find out. barcelona had some great tapas, patatas bravas, anguillas (rarely), and of course jamon serrano and manchego cheese which you can get at La Espanola. In fact, call La Espanola in Harbor City and someone there will probably have a good recommendation.

              1. Alegria in Long Beach is fun but almost nothing on the menu qualifies as Spanish. Cava has a nice selection of tapas, and a few of them might be found in Spain, but the majority (and the better ones) are very New World.

                I haven't been to La Masia in W. Hollywood in a number of years. If I recall, La Masia had some very worthy and reasonably authentic Spanish entrees but not much in the way of tapas.