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May 9, 2008 11:22 AM

Could Tasca be the best Tapas place in LA?

I have to say yes. This is my rationale, I went there about a week ago without any expectations on this place, which happens to be right next to where I get my hair cut. The place reminds me of a nice smallish restaurant in the East Village in New York, dark intimate and warm. Cobras and Matadors in minds is horrible, and LA Paella is marginal at best, I was desperate to find a Tapas joint that was hopefully similar to Zarzuela in SF. We had a group of 8 and service was solid, as we had a big table right next to the bar.

I started out with the gazpacho, which was served with a perfectly grilled jumbo shrimp, and it was awesome. The gazpacho was made with heirloom tomatoes, and had a very earthy and melon like flavor. The acidity was perfect, and I think this might be the best I have had in LA. Off the wine list we had a nice bottle of Rioja which I dont remember but it was roughly $49, and was a good bottle. The markups for Spanish wine were a little high, but hey I understand the restaurant business, and when the food is good NO PROB. I would have liked to have tried some albarino but that will be for next time. We then started the long march of the tapa....... Tortilla espagnola (nice b/c it was warm), Arancini (one of the best tapas there), croquetas de pollo (crusty breaded nuggets), burrata salad (you cant really mess this dish up), moules frites (nice andalucian flavor more authentic than any shellfish dish at LA paella), braised short rib (a crowd favorite), boudin noir (black sausage which was served with nice garlic mash), and finally a duck confit that although maybe not spanish, a dish that was perfectly executed cuz I love duck. The restaurant is run by a young french chef, and although maybe this might be franco-fied tapas it is essentially updated spanish cuisine. I will be back with many, and I hope to try their Paella on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!! Cheers

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  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Tasca is fantastic, I don't think I've ever had a disappointing dish there.

    1. Maybe not apples to apples comparison, but I think of Orris as having the best tapas-like experience in LA.

      1. Thanks for your fine writeup... You caught my attention when you mentioned their albarino. I checked their online wine list (which I'm guessing is far out of date) but didn't see an albarino listed. I personally think albarinos are some of the best whites suited for my taste, regardless of price. Do you recall the vitner's name? Thanks...

        7 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          The wine on the menu was the Rias Baixas, Eidos Albarino for $48.

          1. re: Schweinhaxen

            I haven't had this particular wine from Eidos but I'm sure it's fantastic... I will look for it... Thanks for the info...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              My favorite albarino is made by Morgadio; exceptional stuff! The '06 is still available for less than $20.

                1. re: Schweinhaxen

                  Yes - where? As we all know, the thing about good to great Spanish wines is that most are very reasonably priced - $15-$20 gets bottled manna. Word gets out about a great buy at a particular winehouse, and within a week or two, all of their stock is gone!

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Woodland Hills. Wine Co.($17).

                    Wally's also carries it They charge about $5 more for it.

                    1. re: vinosnob

                      Thank you - I'm in the Westside - Wally's would be much closer and probably worth the extra $5... If I end up deciding to pick up a case, I'll head out to Woodland Hills... thanks again...

        2. I've only been there once but really fell in love with it. Everything about the experience was great. The Arancini alone would be worth a trip to Mars.

          1. I love Tasca. Gread food and wine and the waiters are way cool.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rednyellow

              Try Bar Pinxto in SM. Very small, but very cool.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                Bar Pintxo's intent is brilliant! The execution was lacking. I was somewhat disappointed with the food on my one trip there and they have a few stinkers on the wine list. I'm hoping I have better luck on my second visit because I really want to like it.