Best Spanish in LA... anyone?
So I'm going with Bar Pintxo, because it is close to me, informal, crowded, and fun so the atmosphere is right. The prices are reasonable, 3-8$ average, and the wine list, though small, is well thought out. Mallorcan red by the carafe, anyone? Oh, and the ham! Mmmm...ham...
I've heard good things about Tasca, as well, but haven't tried it yet. Anyone else care to share?
Decent Spanish cuisine is lacking in L.A. I've yet to find a good fideua in SoCal.
La Paella, on its best day (and I've been there at least 10 times because friends dragged me), rates as a mediocre - soggy undercooked paellas, lacking life. Their tapas ranges from decent (gambas al ajillo) to barely edible (tortillas de patatas).
But Spanish food is so much more than paella. Jose Andres' The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel nearby has a very passable jamon platter.
Speaking of paella, though... The highest rated paella in SoCal in my book remains the take-out styrofoam box paella at the market called La Espanola in Harbor City, available Saturdays only (one must call Friday to reserve in advance). They have very good bocadillos (hot Spanish sandwiches) also.
I've also tried BP and Tasca. Still not close to La Espanola.
Fideuà (pronounced [fiðeˈwa], or Fideuada ([fiðeˈwadə], from fideu, Valencian
for "noodle") is a dish typical of the Valencian Community, in Spain. It originated in the 1960s in the city of Gandia when noodles were used instead of rice in the popular dish paella.
There are many variations of it with different ingredients, but it is usually made with seafood and fish, and optionally served with allioli sauce.
Fuet is a Catalan thin, cured, dry sausage of pork meat in a pork gut. The most famous is made in the comarca (county) of Osona and is also known as Vic fuet (fuet de Vic, after the city of Vic, capital of Osona).
Butifarra: Catalan Grilling Sausage
"La butifarra es un embutido fresco compuesto de carne picada de porcino y gran cantidad de pimienta, así como otras especias."
I don't know about the best, but I love Cobras and Matadores on Beverly... plus the no corkage policy...
i go to BP about 2-3 times a month, and yes, some things do sit out. But, it is worth mentioning that certain items -even true paella- are traditionally made, cooled to room temp, then served until they run out. The tortilla Espanola is another example of something served this way. I go to Pintxo to relax, drink wine, and snack away the evening with friends and it's great for that. Get a cuarto of wine or an Alhambra Negra, get olives, anything with boquerones (amazing spanish white anchovies cured with vinegar), and get the plate of ham. Eat that, then order another cuarto of wine. It'll all begin to make sense from there.
Decent tapas at Cobras and Matadors/ Jose Andres' Bazaar....though usually we go to La Espanola and buy our tapas items from assorted chorizos, jamon, olives, white asparagus, pickled mussels, cheese and boquerones en vinagre. We make our own paella and fideua at home...great specially in summertime when we cook it outside on a large burner.
Because L.A. is the home of La Espanola, arguably the best Spanish charcutiere in the U.S., you will often find decent Spanish dishes where you least expect them. Father's Office, for example, almost always has three or four very good Spanish dishes on the menu. Rivera downtown has a couple of very good Spanish things on the menu, including top-notch bellota ham. Palate leans Spanish at times. AOC has an excellent romesco sauce.
What you won't find, of course, is excellent paella, but that's damned hard to find in Spain too.
There's always Lizarran in Fullerton, the only US outpost of the Catalonian pintxos bar...and Black Sheep Bistro in Tustin. But that's OC, not LA.