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May 3, 2008 06:50 PM

crusty paella?

Does anyone know where to get a paella that has a good sacarat? (a good crust that's on the bottom of the pan). I've browsed the board for other suggestions but didn't see that quality mentioned. so many places seem to load a paella with stuff, but the bottom line is its jsut seafood and meat over rice, its not paella. no sacarat is a deal breaker. ideas anyone?

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  1. The paella at my house always has a good sacarat. I can tell you, as you can tell me, lots of places that don't do it right (Sevilla the other night-- served in a lidded casserole pan!). AOC Bedford's isn't bad, but not great either.

    Sometimes it's ok at Azafran. The other night we had a small one at Pamplona. It came in a paella pan (a good sign) and was slightly decent on the sacarat element.

    If you discover better than Pamplona, do tell!

    3 Replies
    1. re: simetrias

      AOC Bedford has closed. I don't like Pamplona at all--it was missing advertised ingredients and was really salty. La Nacional is my favorite paella.

      1. re: Lucia

        Aw, when did AOC Bedford close??? Was a nice sweet place!

    2. Re AOC: If you are talking about the one at Bleecker and Grove(?), for a closed restaurant they sure are serving some good food to a lot of people.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chaz

        No, we're talking about AOC Bedford at 14 Bedford St.
        I've been to AOC on Bleecker. Mediocre food and very unattentive service.

        1. re: Lucia

          I completely agree about AOC - we wanted to like it, and the outside space is pleasant, but gave up after a couple of experiences of mediocre food, bad service, and v. loud music.

      2. Okay, so I just got back from pamplona on my paella sacarada quest. I got a few tapas to start and those were all quite good. then came the paella. when i ordered i specifically specified that i wanted it practially burnt on the bottom. when it arrived i stuck my spoon in and was not pleased. I sent it back and they put it back on the heat for a good 15 minutes. this made it much better. it had some cripsy bits but still could have been a little better. I'll give them credit for trying though. I think in the state it was in they would have had to add some more moisture in order to get it to the level of crispyness tha i desired.

        On a side note, the only thing I was totally disappointed with was the churros. The actual churros were okay, if a little doughy. but the chocolate "sauce"? it was sooooooooo watery. it could barely coat the churros. in spain its basically just melted chocolate in a cup. its so easy to do, I dont' know how they don't get that right.

        overall my experince was solid, not great. I would go back but am not eager to return right away. I think I would stick o the tapas menu and get other desserts.

        Also, I read in other reivews of this place that the service was a bit off. I didn't experience anything of the sort. the lady sitting next to me when i sat down had the most horrendous perfume on. my friend complained that it was agrevating my asthma and they promptly moved us (i don't have asthma but they don't know that). throughout the night they were quite attentive.

        1. I've heard that La Nacional on 14th is the best in the city.

          3 Replies
          1. re: guttergourmet

            It's incredible! Very crusty. Also, don't miss the anchovies at La Nacional, which are meaty and delicious!

            1. re: guttergourmet

              La Nacional has a very nice paella. I wouldn't say it comes with an excetionally crispy bottom, but it is very flavorful.


              1. re: guttergourmet

                Not a Paella expert by any means, but the one time a friend brought me to La Nacional, it was one of those amazing unexpected experiences. I highly recommend it.