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La Tasca, not Tosca RW

I had reservations for Sunday, to take a friend to Tosca for her birthday. I was very excited as this is a restaurant I have couldn't usually afford but RW made it seem doable. Something got lost in our communications and now my friend is very excited about going to the chain La Tasca in Rockville. She spent four hours downloading the 6.15 mb. menu with a 24k modem and is now planning her sequence of ordering the tapas.

Biting my lip, I cancelled my reservation at Tosca and booked La Tasca in Rockville. This place has terrible reviews and I'm concerned that the unlimited offer on a "special menu" will negate the items she has chosen.

Has anyone been there for RW? Is it it as bad as I expect? Is there anything that is good at La Tasca?

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  1. I have been to La Tasca for RW. Despite most peoples groans about this place I really love it, and my friend and I frequent it there as an excuse to get pitchers of sangria.

    Here is what I get when I go.

    Pitcher of Sangria La Tasca.

    Start off with the fried eggplant w. cheese dip (Berenjenas Fritas con Queso Cabrales) - my favorite. Then I get the meatballs (Albondigas a la Jardinera), bacon wrapped shrimp (if they have them), flank steak (Buey al Jerez), Egg and Potato Omlete (Tortilla EspaƱola) and sometimes the Chicken Croquetes (Croquetas de Pollo).

    For dessert I get the chocolate truffle (Trufa de chocolate con helado de vainilla).

    I was never a big fan or their paella, although I have only had the tapas size. The seafood in it is usually a little dry. Most of their fish dishes are a little too bland for me or too oily. The chicken kabob is plain.

    You'll probably get lots of bashes and don't go there, but you wanted a review of what people like there, and this is what I like. It isn't the best or most gourmet food, but its yummy enough and always a fun thing to do with friends. Good Luck!

    1. Let start off by saying you are the most accommodating guy I've ever met. I would've just told her about her mistake, but I commend/slightly mock you for your kindness.

      I've been to the La Tasca in the inner harbor in Baltimore; I imagine they're probably very similar. From what I can remember, I liked the eggplant (very much), bacon wrapped shrimp, and meatballs like enginerd as well as the chorizo and the cheesy garlic bread (though I might not order it for RW on account of trying to get your money's worth). I disliked the paella, scallops (no flavor sadly), mushrooms (mushy even more sadly), and actually was not thrilled with our flank steak (at least I think it was the flank steak, maybe it was another beef dish, but it definitely felt like microwaved food).

      The chocolate truffle was pretty good, and I remember thinking the Cream custard with strawberries to be quite tasty if you like cream custard.

      I'll admit that it's not a place that ever hits the spot for me, nor do I ever really have the urge to go (especially with PAZO and Tapas Teatro around for any Tapas fix), but I wouldn't consider the night unsalvageable. Here's to hoping you have a good night of food this sunday.

      1. If you have ever been to any of the area Jaleo locations, even on their worst night, you will not be happy with La Tasca.

        Also, I can't imagine spending $30/pp at La Tasca from the regular menu, so you may land up spending MORE than you would have normally.

        Sorry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DanielK

          I have been there a bunch of times because I used to live down the street. I think it's pretty bad. Everything is fried- the only dish I can remember is the chicken croquettes. Sangria is so so. Paella not so great. I agree, it shouldn't even be $30 in a regular day.

          Seriously, convince your friend to go to Tosca. La Tosca should not be chosen over that!

        2. It's really not as bad as you think it might be. Like the first two posters, I've actually enjoyed it. We go to the one in Old Town Alex. about once a month with another couple for pitchers of sangria. We LOVE the fried eggplant with cheese dip as the others have mentioned. I've never had anything outright horrible there...but the sangria could cloud my judgment :-)

          1. Please don't waste your money at La Tasca in Rockville. I was just there in late December and It was probably the worst restaurant meal I ate in all of 2007. The food was incredibly disappointing. Terribly bland. Service was inattentive at best. And the restaurant was cold enough that we had dine while wearing our coats! If you want tapas, there are a half dozen area restaurants like Zaytinya and Jaleo that would be happy to serve you small plates that you'd actually enjoy eating. If you absolutely must go to La Tasca, drink heavily. I hear Rockville's the worst of the chain.

            Any hopes of getting back your reservation at Tosca?

            1 Reply
            1. re: AzureBlue

              Yeah I have never been to the Rockville location. Only Chinatown and Arlington.

            2. If your friend is excited about tapas, why not try to get a reservation at Jaleo instead. They are participating in RW.

              Just say La Tasca was booked but you've heard Jaleo is really good and also has Spanish style tapas.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Elyssa

                I'm cracking up - 'cuz who would believe that La Tasca was booked!

              2. Thanks for all that replied-both the helpful and the naysayers. The evening was better than I expected but not up to chow standard.

                We arrived at 5:00 on Sunday and the service was spot on until 6:00, when the restaurant started to great crowded. It steadily deteriorated until 7:20, when it was time to pay the bill and we had to flag down a runner to get the check.

                All three of us ordered from the RW menu. The unlimited made it fun as we could try things that we wouldn't normally and reorder things that were good.

                The only stand outs were the Espparragos Verde a la Plancha (grilled fresh asparagus drizzled with extra virgin oil, Selection de Embutidos (selection of spanish cured meats) and the Trufa con Helado de Vainalla (Dark Chocolate truffle with vanilla bean ice cream).

                Nothing was horrible but if I was paying be the plate, I would have found some of it outrageous for the quality. The tasteless and overcooked shrimp would be $2.00 each and the very good asparagus $1.75 per stalk.

                I would not go there again unless it was RW . The bottom line was we we had fun not worrying about the bill and the Sangria La Tasca was very good for an $18.95 pitcher. We left full but not stuffed with a $90.27 food tab and ate what would have cost $117.05. Not a great deal but okay.