el pirata de tapas, westbourne grove
starting with the bread that comes with a version of alioli, finishing with excellent coffee and heaven in between: croquetas, a plate of pata negra ham, tortilla, meatballs, chorizo, pork cheeks all
washed down with sherry.
the prices are a bargain too. for instance, 9 quid will get you two dishes + a glass of sherry + bread and alioli for lunch.
i really haven't been excited this much by a restaurant in a long, long while. there is an enormous amount of care being taken and i'm surprised that the restaurant wasn't full. you should have to wait patiently, do penance etc to eat this well.
My experience at El Pirata de Tapas was sadly not so good. I felt the tapas was somewhat medicore (although I admit keenly priced). In my view Barrafina serves much better tapas and has a better atmosphere as well (the set up of El Pirata de Tapas with the long room and the bar down the end made it feel not as "buzzy" as other tapas places). Hopefully though I just had a bad experience...
re: Gourmet Chick
i've been back twice again and each time there was a lot of loving care. that being said, i agree with your review - choose individual items - for example, the second time around the pata negra was a bit dry (its cut at the bar and not in the kitchen).
anyway, for anybody reading along we should perhaps warn that its not a madrid style tapas bar even though there are quite a few usual suspects on the menu.