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Tastiest Paella in Los Angeles

tven1 Jul 20, 2013 06:58 PM

Where is it? :)

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  1. PeterCC RE: tven1 Jul 20, 2013 07:12 PM

    Check J.L.'s recommendations in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/894356

    I had the seafood paella at Taberna Arros y Vi and wasn't impressed by it. It was good, but the rice was a little too... al dente for my personal taste (I'm not a paella expert so I don't know if that's proper preparation or not).

    And because it's more of a personal size entree, it seemed to lack the feeling of "abundance" in the amount of seafood that I've gotten at places where the paella serves 2-3. I know logically that makes sense that a paella for 1 would not be as "bountiful", but it was a feeling I couldn't shake. Like there was two mussels and two crab leg segments and some shrimp and that was it.

    I would like to try some of the other paella there, though, and the morcilla (blood sausage). I'll usually give a restaurant more than once chance unless my first experience was really awful, which it wasn't. Their tapas, like the fried pig ears and fried green tomatoes, were excellent!

    11 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC
      Ciao Bob RE: PeterCC Jul 27, 2013 07:52 AM

      I will write more when I fully recover from the horror that was Taberna Arros y Vi last night if I can bear to relive it. The food was almost uniformly awful and the drinks were worse. Beer Sangria is the dumbest idea I ever experienced yet somehow the wine sangria sucked even more (minimally alcoholic cherry Kool Aid). The paellas was just terrible: wet, salty rice with lousy ingredients. The crudos (scallop and ahi) were vile, both the fish quality and the saucing. There were a few other terrifying tapas. My Madrileño friend kept asking if this was a joke.

      Like Peter I enjoyed the pig ears. My friends did not. I also like the fried potatoes (just simple house made potato chips with spicy salt). The rest is ...giving...me...the....dry....heaves....23 hrs later....

      1. re: Ciao Bob
        J.L. RE: Ciao Bob Jul 27, 2013 08:43 AM

        Sorry about your experience, Ciao Bob. Similar experience here when I went a month ago.

        I dislike doling out very negative restaurant reviews, so I just kept my mouth shut on this one. Maybe I should have warned you.

        1. re: J.L.
          Ciao Bob RE: J.L. Jul 27, 2013 09:52 AM

          Not your fault - in fact, I think you did, subtly. In any case, like Cobain/Winehouse/Joplin, we were hell-bent on trying it and nothing would have stopped us.

        2. re: Ciao Bob
          PeterCC RE: Ciao Bob Jul 27, 2013 08:58 AM

          Wow Bob, my experience wasn't as bad as yours. I'm actually willing to go back, but I can see how you wouldn't ever again after your experience.

          What were the other tapas that you had? I'm mostly interested in stuff that hopefully can't be messed up too much like the fried smelt and maybe the baby octopus. I'm also hoping the morcilla would be easier to execute properly, as a sausage, than paella. Also the charcuterie. The salty watermelon cocktail wasn't bad.

          1. re: PeterCC
            Ciao Bob RE: PeterCC Jul 27, 2013 09:57 AM

            Smelt - terrible as well. Greasy, no flavor.

            Octopus in a can - one of the few edible "dishes." Most likely because all they had to do was buy it, open it and put some grilled bread on the plate next to it.
            Did not try the baby pulpo.

          2. re: Ciao Bob
            ilysla RE: Ciao Bob Jul 27, 2013 09:48 AM

            Thanks for taking one for the team. =(

            1. re: ilysla
              ns1 RE: ilysla Jul 27, 2013 10:56 AM

              This. Was excited when I heard about the place too

            2. re: Ciao Bob
              DoogDoof RE: Ciao Bob Jul 28, 2013 12:24 PM

              Sorry you had a bad experience. It happens. We went about a month ago and actually enjoyed it, but we ordered completely different things. After I learned that Perfecto Rocher (the esteemed paella chef from the Lazy Ox) was no longer involved, my expectations were so tamped down that we didn't even try any of the paellas. The Majorcan fish stew was pretty good, but the lack of any decent sangrias came as a surprise.

              1. re: DoogDoof
                Ciao Bob RE: DoogDoof Jul 28, 2013 12:36 PM

                I had Perfecto's (such a great name) Rabbit Paella at Lazy Ox - quite good!

                1. re: Ciao Bob
                  DoogDoof RE: Ciao Bob Jul 28, 2013 12:54 PM

                  Following these paella threads, it seems Perfecto's skills are sorely needed here. I'm disappointed that he isn't part of Taberna, but it seems like there may be a good reason for that. I think he's at a new restaurant in MB or nearby.

                  1. re: DoogDoof
                    shab RE: DoogDoof Jul 28, 2013 02:18 PM

                    He's taking control of a place in Hermosa Beach according to this:

          3. ipsedixit RE: tven1 Jul 20, 2013 07:18 PM

            They don't always have it, but Ración does an interesting deconstructed paella.

            1. f
              foodiemahoodie RE: tven1 Jul 20, 2013 09:25 PM

              I have not done a taste test of all the paellas in Los Angeles. But that does sound like fun.

              Bar Pinxto's is very good.

              But I would check out this place.


              4 Replies
              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                foodiemahoodie RE: foodiemahoodie Jul 20, 2013 11:56 PM

                Just tried Taberna - paella was hm...just okay. No socarrat to speak of however, and I was really looking forward to that part. Not even close. Shoulda gone to Pinxto.

                1. re: foodiemahoodie
                  selfportrait93 RE: foodiemahoodie Jul 21, 2013 12:13 AM

                  Is Bar Pintxo's Paella a special order item?
                  I can't find it in. their menu

                  1. re: selfportrait93
                    foodiemahoodie RE: selfportrait93 Jul 21, 2013 01:19 AM

                    Just checked - you're right. They do it in a big pan, not individual orders.

                    They usually make Tuesday nights - and they make in front (outside).

                    Give a call - they might have it as a special on other nights (or maybe I've only gone there on Tuesdays).

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie
                      DoogDoof RE: foodiemahoodie Oct 18, 2013 11:45 AM

                      I just went to Bar Pinxto Monday night and squid ink paella was available as a special. It was $30 for a medium sized pan to share and was quite good. It came with large shrimp, squid, and I think a few mussels. I was pleased to see that they got the soccorat right. I would definitely have it again or try the Tuesday night paella.

                2. A5 KOBE RE: tven1 Jul 20, 2013 11:18 PM

                  I like the seafood paella at Moro's.

                  1. JeMange RE: tven1 Jul 28, 2013 02:17 PM

                    After trying various places without much luck, I'd argue that the best paella in LA is the one my friends make a few times each year in their Silver Lake backyard.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: JeMange
                      JeMange RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 02:19 PM

                      Here's one of the paella tender.

                      1. re: JeMange
                        Porthos RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 03:14 PM

                        Your buddy needs to make that a Farmer's Market stall!

                        1. re: Porthos
                          JeMange RE: Porthos Jul 28, 2013 03:51 PM

                          They do take it seriously, which means that the socarrat is amazing. Last year, he yelled at a friend of mine for stirring it and rightly so!

                          1. re: Porthos
                            revets2 RE: Porthos Jul 29, 2013 12:35 AM


                            Because I think you live in OC, Nick Weber at The Cannery turns out this fantastic paella with spot prawns from Pearson's. If my memory serves correctly, it was part of a multicourse meal and this was the second the last dish (murder on the wine pairing that late in the game). It's off menu, so one would need to order and place a deposit on it in advance.

                            One of the best I've had even compared to Spain. And it's right up there with what my aunt would whip up in Madrid.

                            I've never had it, but folks seem to like the paella made every Saturday at La Espanola in Harbor City.

                            Nick Weber's paella at The Cannery in Newport Beach pictured below.

                            1. re: revets2
                              Porthos RE: revets2 Jul 29, 2013 12:48 AM

                              Thanks for the amazing tip!

                              I owe you bigtime!

                              1. re: Porthos
                                revets2 RE: Porthos Jul 29, 2013 10:52 AM

                                Back at ya', Porthos. Your reccs have been super helpful to me over the last year and it's greatly appreciated!

                                Ask him if he'll also serve you his uni/pork belly/shiso taco thingy. Actually, just give him a budget and have him do a menu for you. But he's procuring foodstuffs just for you, so you gotta commit. The other Cannery customers won't eat all that good stuff.

                                1. re: revets2
                                  Porthos RE: revets2 Jul 29, 2013 11:03 AM

                                  Totally understand regarding special requests and the customer's responsibility in those cases.

                                  I couldn't find it on their website. Do you know what the corkage policy is?


                                  1. re: Porthos
                                    revets2 RE: Porthos Jul 30, 2013 01:47 AM

                                    Porthos, email me @ revets2@aol.com.

                              2. re: revets2
                                KTLA RE: revets2 Jul 29, 2013 05:54 PM

                                Paella at La Espanola is good. You can also order entire pans of paella for parties. Did this several times in the past for dinner parties and it worked out really well. It is correct, they only serve on Saturdays.

                              3. re: JeMange
                                Ciao Bob RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 05:31 PM

                                My Baby did this one on the grill at home - far better than any I have had in restos as well.

                                1. re: JeMange
                                  Ciao Bob RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 05:33 PM

                                  And why do most restaurants insist on a seafood paella or a meatfood paella?
                                  I like mine with chorizo, chicken thighs, AND seafood.

                                2. re: JeMange
                                  DoogDoof RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 02:56 PM

                                  Very impressive! I think your friends are onto something.

                                  1. re: JeMange
                                    J.L. RE: JeMange Jul 28, 2013 07:50 PM

                                    There is no doubt that when it comes to paella, homemade is better than restaurant-made.

                                    But alas, this board is a restaurant-centric forum.

                                    1. re: JeMange
                                      bringiton RE: JeMange Oct 18, 2013 11:40 AM

                                      ..and you can score us all an invite? Thanks, buddy! I'll bring the beer.

                                    2. PeterCC RE: tven1 Oct 18, 2013 09:55 AM

                                      Crossing fingers... http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/10/...

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                        Porthos RE: PeterCC Oct 18, 2013 10:31 AM

                                        Sounds like a must go. Paella, suckling pig, old wines. What's not to like?

                                        1. re: Porthos
                                          linus RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 11:23 AM

                                          the name.

                                          1. re: linus
                                            Porthos RE: linus Oct 18, 2013 11:28 AM


                                            As good as any other name.

                                            1. re: Porthos
                                              PeterCC RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 11:32 AM

                                              I like it too. Better than Smoke and Oil or Oil & Salt or Smoke + Salt... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9049...

                                              1. re: Porthos
                                                linus RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 03:45 PM

                                                mmmm...maybe not.

                                                anywho, who cares what the name is if the food is good, n'est ce pas?

                                                1. re: linus
                                                  PeterCC RE: linus Oct 18, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                  C'est ça!

                                                  1. re: linus
                                                    Porthos RE: linus Oct 18, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                    "What's not to like?"

                                                    linus- "the name"

                                                    linus- "who cares what the name is if the food is good"


                                                    1. re: Porthos
                                                      PeterCC RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                      Not that hard to reconcile. "I don't like the name, but I'm willing to overlook it if the food's good."

                                                      Yes, I know "overlook" =/= "who cares" but I think that's the general gist...

                                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                                        Porthos RE: PeterCC Oct 18, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                        Uh huh.

                                                        1. re: Porthos
                                                          PeterCC RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                          Come on, work with me. ;-)

                                                          Hey, BTW, any interest in a truffle gohan outing with kevin (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920877)? Should we try to do the guy a solid if we can make it work?

                                                          1. re: PeterCC
                                                            Porthos RE: PeterCC Oct 18, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                            Yeah, white truffle gohan will make Urasawa pricing look like a happy meal.

                                                      2. re: Porthos
                                                        linus RE: Porthos Oct 18, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                        so i don't like the name.
                                                        big deal.
                                                        it's not important.

                                              2. re: PeterCC
                                                ilysla RE: PeterCC Oct 18, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                Sounds lovely! Wish it were closer to home, but I'm glad that what sounds like a nice restaurant will be taking the spot of Angeli....

                                                1. re: PeterCC
                                                  J.L. RE: PeterCC Oct 18, 2013 10:30 PM

                                                  I. Still. Go.

                                                2. CharlesKochel RE: tven1 Nov 18, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                  ? Has anyone tried Geoffrey's in Malibu. They carry some really good seafood and serve Paella for dinner?

                                                  Seafood Paella
                                                  Prawns, Mussels, Manila Clams, Scallops, Chorizo, Chicken, Saffron Rice in a Seafood Broth

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: CharlesKochel
                                                    J.L. RE: CharlesKochel Nov 18, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                    They use long grain rice (a no-no), and my paella order was soggy wet through and through when I got it - Might as well call it seafood risotto.

                                                    1. re: J.L.
                                                      JeMange RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                      How would you even make risotto with long grain rice? The starch just isn't there.

                                                      Most people who have not experienced real paella have no idea what to expect in terms of taste and texture.

                                                      1. re: JeMange
                                                        J.L. RE: JeMange Nov 18, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                        Totally agree, JeMange...

                                                        There was an event I attended years ago at the Spanish Consulate where they had a paellero from Spain make a large open-fire paella for about 100 of us guests in attendance.

                                                        Now THAT was great paella.

                                                        1. re: J.L.
                                                          JeMange RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                          Which reminds me, my paella making friends - see photos above - are doing another one one Friday. Whoopee!

                                                          1. re: JeMange
                                                            J.L. RE: JeMange Nov 18, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                            Jaloux, JeMange...

                                                        2. re: JeMange
                                                          DoogDoof RE: JeMange Nov 18, 2013 09:04 PM

                                                          The common misconception is that seafood + rice = paella. Soccorat, one of the main standards by which I judge a true paella, sadly seems to be something which is severely neglected.

                                                          1. re: DoogDoof
                                                            J.L. RE: DoogDoof Nov 18, 2013 09:06 PM


                                                      2. re: CharlesKochel
                                                        whiner RE: CharlesKochel Nov 18, 2013 05:38 PM

                                                        I wouldn't go to Geoffrey's for the paella. Wonderful ambiance and high quality ingredients? Check. Talented chefs? >Box remains unchecked< :-(

                                                        1. re: whiner
                                                          J.L. RE: whiner Nov 18, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                          Like Nobu Malibu - Go for the ocean views...

                                                          1. re: J.L.
                                                            whiner RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 10:45 PM


                                                      3. b
                                                        bringiton RE: tven1 Nov 18, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                        This weekend I was at the old Farmer's Market adjacent to the Grove and saw a Spanish stall which served Paella. Any word on this place?

                                                        14 Replies
                                                        1. re: bringiton
                                                          J.L. RE: bringiton Nov 18, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                          It's called Little Spain, and don't bother - their paella is mediocre at best.

                                                          1. re: J.L.
                                                            jessejames RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                            have you had the one with the noodles they do? saw someone eating it from the banana leaf next door-- it actually looked yellow salty crispy and good...not as good as the banana tho

                                                            1. re: J.L.
                                                              Porthos RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                              Still waiting on your gold standards for Valencia... ;-)

                                                              1. re: Porthos
                                                                Servorg RE: Porthos Nov 18, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9045... to whet your appetite...

                                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                                  Porthos RE: Servorg Nov 18, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                  Thanks for the link! PeterCC or Offalo had provided that link earlier.

                                                                  Turns out Casa Roberto is very tourity. Got a lead from some locals for La Pepica and El Palmar.

                                                                  Looks like JL is intent on keeping his favorites a secret. ;-)

                                                                  In the meanwhile I've already reserved paella for 4 for a party of 3 at Tar and Roses...only because we wanted to save room to order the pig tail and other a la carte goodies.

                                                                  1. re: Porthos
                                                                    J.L. RE: Porthos Nov 18, 2013 07:01 PM

                                                                    Wait! Wait! I had to go back into my hard drive to find the name of the places I enjoyed in Valencia. My wife tells me our hosts took us to a place called Levante.

                                                                    For the black paella, we had it at Ca'Sento - My wife's friend mentioned in passing that it had closed since our visit a few years back.

                                                                    1. re: J.L.
                                                                      Porthos RE: J.L. Nov 18, 2013 07:53 PM


                                                                      The contenders will be Levante, La Pepica, and El Palmar then. Will cut out a meal from Barcelona so we can do all 3 (pending restaurant hours of course).

                                                                    2. re: Porthos
                                                                      Servorg RE: Porthos Nov 18, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                      And this report http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7573...

                                                                      1. re: Servorg
                                                                        TheOffalo RE: Servorg Nov 18, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                        Covered: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8943...

                                                                        1. re: TheOffalo
                                                                          J.L. RE: TheOffalo Nov 18, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                          PeterCC lives! You & he should have a ChowMeet one of these days...

                                                                          1. re: TheOffalo
                                                                            Servorg RE: TheOffalo Nov 18, 2013 08:14 PM

                                                                            Found this gem lurking in the deep shadows of the CH archives http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5137... and, while it's old (2008) it still looks like an absolute must read for this subject, and just generally if you are going to be going to this area of Spain.

                                                                            ADD: Same guy has a website http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2005/0...

                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                              Porthos RE: Servorg Nov 18, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                              Servorg old buddy, you've outdone yourself. That link is better than gold! It's not only has all the places mentioned above but more. As it turns out I'll be in Alacante also so I'll be able to get going early on the arroz gluttony.

                                                                              Warning bells now going off on Le Pepica and I'm pretty sure La Matandeta is going to be in the mix.

                                                                              Thanks again. You're alright in my book! :-)

                                                                              1. re: Porthos
                                                                                Servorg RE: Porthos Nov 19, 2013 03:59 AM

                                                                                Polo (Peter/Offalo) ever so lightly slapped me across my cheekiness with a virtual gauntlet with his "Covered" replies ringing in my ears - so I needed to choose my second (mc michael) and then it was Internet enabled devices at 30 paces, turn and fire into the CH archives! (g)

                                                                2. re: bringiton
                                                                  DoogDoof RE: bringiton Nov 18, 2013 09:10 PM

                                                                  Haven't had the paella, but I went there to get the bomba rice when making my own. Their deli is not a bad place to go for Spanish ingredients Mid-City.

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