A.O.C. the mecca for small plates in this town, is up in LA, on Melrose I believe.
There is a little place called Corkscrew Cafe in Manhattan Beach that just openned. They are supposed to have "tapas" dishes at night. I've only been there for breakfast with the kids, so haven't been able to check out their small plates. Still looking for real tapas!
You're right about the size/expense of the tapas... "small bites" they are not! I judge everything by Dali's on the east coast. Little plates, a couple of bites - not these giant portions that constitute an entree. It was quite informal the night I was there.
I chatted with the owner about the 'dead space'. He is keeping just a few tables until he sees how the area will accept the type of food. Once established, he plans on opening the 2,000 square feet at the back and redecorating.
The parking is the biggest problem for success... there just isn't any.
Where is A.O.C....??
We tried Minotaur last week.
It's okay, not great. Same strange layout of tables with a dead space behind the hostess station... creates a dead space against a nonusable door.
The food was pretty good and I liked the live music. But the waitress was a bit jumpy and I pissed her (and my husband) off by telling her what I was looking for in a wine. She was skitish the rest of the night. We did get that great bread pudding for free out of the deal. We had the meatballs and shrimp. I'm afraid I don't remember much else.
I have to say I have a real problem with tapas in the U.S. I have yet to see it done in, what I consider, the proper spirit. The food is usually too big, too fancy, too expensive, and served too formally. I want to see a busy bar/restaurant with casual service slinging out quick plates of great rustic stuff.
Actually we had drinks and starters at A.O.C. the other night as well... and a few of their dishes are flung out in quick tapas style, but it's still too precious for my tapas taste. (But the food was all wonderful!)
When I asked Christian Shaffer about the Chloe closing he said that he had a disagreement about the lease renewal with the owners of the building. The other issue is his BIG plans for his new Ojai place. He has bought a winery up there as well as the restaurant. So I think the decision was... Avenue or Chloe and the choice is obvious... Avenue is a huge hit and full on most nights in a well lit area of downtown MB, while Chloe will always have parking problems (which Minotaur will now have) and be in a dark block of PDR.
That said, I still can't wait to try Minotaur. It's on my list...
WOW!!! SO nice to find such a great place within 2 miles of me! The family owned restaurant is such a treat - they care what you thought of the food, and listen to comments. I was so enamored with the spiced almonds, that Lela brought us another dishful. We ordered the seafood paella Valenciana, empanadas de carne, ensalada verde, sangria, and bread pudding. We thought the empanadas were perfection... until the paella arrived! The sangria was just a bit sweet for our taste, but the bread pudding... THAT was the hit of the evening.
I'll be back there in a heartbeat!
Find them at: www.TheMinotaure.com
(310) 306-6050, 333 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Went to Minotaure this month. Liked the decor, it's quirky but demure and inspired, graced by a gigantic, perfectly lit huge plume of pop cool red ostrich feathers over the bar.
The chorizo tapas choice was nice - tasty, perfectly cooked chorizo that wasn't too fatty. The lamb and seafood paella were okay and a little on the bland side, though with a little emphasis on drawing out flavor could have some potential.
Staff was very nice. No valet parking. Beer and wine arrived in great glasses to drink from. If I go back I'll get the chorizo again but try something else to go with it.
Never ate at Chloe, yet Christian Shaffer does have a restaurant called Avenue in Manhattan Beach, as well as the recently reviewed Auberge At Ojai in the city of Ojai, so a call to either or both might yield some info.
Threw that tag on the headline just in case someone else might have that info.