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Atuala

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cobpdx May 6, 2014 03:47 PM

Went to Atuala for the second time this past Saturday night. They do not take reservations and the first time we also went on a Saturday night (just 2 of us) and sat at the bar. Had a great time and enjoyed the food.

This time we met 2 other friends there. Because they were going to the Timbers match that night, we had to meet early. Getting a table for 4 was no problem at 5 pm. By 6 pm, though, it was starting to get full, and I estimate that just about all the seats were taken by 6:30.

Since their were 4 of us, we could sample a lot of dishes and we definitely took advantage of that…

We had their special Jamon, sliced thinly, and served with pieces of tomato soaked bread. The bread was great, the Jamon was nice, but the flavor of the Jamon got a little lost on the bread due to its mild flavor.

We also shared the salt cod croquetas, which were served with a nice aioli (smoked piquillo, I believe). These had a nice flavor, but for a "fried ball of ____", I preferred the Bombas BCN, which were filled with spicy beef and potato and served with a great tomato-y sauce. This and the Nuestras Bravas were the two best dishes. The Nuestras Bravas are thinly sliced potatoes that are put back together again in a stack and then fried in cube shapes and served with brava sauce and a milk aioli. Yummy. We also enjoyed the Potxa, which was a tasty bean salad, and had octopus carpaccio, which was very tender but overall the dish was just OK. Last (well, before the main dish), we each had a Xupa-Xup, which was a lollipop of chorizo slices with something in-between. Can't remember what, but it was a nice tasty bite.

We also did the Rossejat, which is like a paella, except made with skinny, short noodles (with chorizo and chicken). The noodles come out a bit crispy and the flavor of the dish is great, but it is very greasy.

Add to this a liter of sangria and 3 additional cocktails and we got out of there for $200 (not including tip). Not cheap, but considering the quality of the food and drink, $50 per person was worth it. Also, the chef routinely makes rounds into the restaurant and he stopped at our table to make sure we were enjoying everything.

Fun, lively atmosphere. We will be going back!

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