Two eating places, regardless of how hyper-popular they could be, opening at nearly precisely the identical second, don’t essentially make for a culinary pattern. However it actually comes shut!
Considered one of them is Bar Moruno (3705 W. Sundown Blvd., Silver Lake; 323-546-0505, www.barmoruno-la.com), which is dinner solely, and practically inconceivable to get into, even if you wish to sit on the bar, which is full on a regular basis. It’s an edgy Spanish restaurant, created by a chef and a sommelier from Campanile. And so they’ve acquired the most well liked vacation spot to hit Silver Lake in years! It’s a spot for many tapas…however no paella.
Against this, the equally fashionable Dos Besos (a brick-and-mortar spinoff of the Villa Paella catering firm), which sits on the much less restaurant intensive east aspect of Union Avenue (the west aspect is sizzling spots uber alles), is constructed round a quartet of madly good paellas — seafood, squid ink, seafood noodle and vegetable.
However you actually can’t do a Spanish restaurant and not using a collection of tapas, and the tapas at Dos Besos dazzle with their artistic focus. In relation to a small pate of gambas al ajillo with a glass of Albarino, this can be a vacation spot awash with pure pleasure. And a nifty outside patio in addition. It’s not Madrid, but it surely’s not Pasadena both. Dos Besos takes us into one other world.
It’s a small restaurant — about the identical dimension inside as it’s outdoors — that’s curiously open for dinner Tuesday via Saturday, after which for lunch solely on Sundays. It’s simpler to attain a reservation right here than at Bar Moruno — which is nice, as a result of Dos Besos doesn’t supply a bar as an choice.
Nonetheless, I did a walk-in for lunch on a Sunday. And although it was full inside, there was seating outdoors — so long as you don’t thoughts the outside temps rising because the parts of paella, sized for 2 diners (or extra), heat you up. And anyway, there are two sangrias to chill you off — one constructed round pink wine, the opposite round glowing wine. Each are onerous to withstand.
However then, so is the primary creation among the many small dishes — a positive bowl of Andalusian vegetable soup (gazpacho Andaluz), which is served chilly and is a well-chilled warmup for the remainder of the dishes on a menu full of temptations each small and enormous.
I do love the tortilla Española, but it surely isn’t a tortilla within the Mexican type. On the Iberian Peninsula, a tortilla is an omelette of potatoes and onions, someplace between a pancake and scrambled eggs. It’s a beautiful dish, a really joyful dish that provides the sense to these of us with an egg obsession that the Sunday meal at Dos Besos is brunch.
Certainly, to go brunchy, add on the patatas bravas served with a garlicky aioli; the pan con tomate (crispy, tasty bread slathered with tomato, olive oil and salt — so easy, and so absurdly good), maybe the marinated Spanish olives as effectively. That is Trendy Spanish meals, however with roots in each chew. The fettuccine with black truffles may be very a lot us…the cazuela de mariscos (a bouillabaisse-esque seafood stew) may be very a lot them.
Should you stick with simply the appetizers, there’s a lot meals on the menu, which works effectively with a Spanish wine record of some 20 drinks — glowing, white, rose and pink. (Two Spanish beers as effectively!) I really like tapas — not properly, and positively too effectively.
On my a number of journeys to Spain, I’ve lived on tapas. On this case, there are Spanish meatballs (albondigas), a Spanish cheese plate (for me, manchego guidelines!), an Iberian cured meat plate, Galician empanadas, mushrooms in truffle cream sauce, Galician octopus with potatoes, shrimp in garlic — and two decisions of jamón Ibérico, one aged 4 years or extra.
The manchego cheese reappears in a salad of combined greens — which sit on the menu on the sting of the 4 paellas.
On a visit to Madrid and Barcelona a number of years in the past, my daughter grew to become obsessive about paellas. She ate paella in each restaurant we went to that provided paella — which was many. There have been seafood paellas, hen paellas, pork sausage paellas, vegetable paellas, paellas served in flat, large paella pans (which give the dish its title!) — and paellas scoped from over-sized stove-top kettles. She ate a lot paella, she didn’t contact it once more for years after.
Me…I had no hassle in any respect. And I’ve no hassle at this. The 4 paellas are, as I stated, sufficient for 2 — or extra. However you do want your endurance for they’re cooked to order, which takes half an hour or extra.
Or, in case you’re not within the temper for paella, the entrees run to New Zealand rack of lamb in rosemary sauce, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, sea bass baked in rock salt, salmon in lemon caper sauce. There are piquillo peppers with Spanish anchovies as a aspect dish.
And although there’s a Spanish almond cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert, I lean towards the vanilla ice crema with a shot of espresso. After a meal of so many tastebud-searing dishes, it’s a deal with to have vanilla ice cream for dessert. In my dotage, I’ve come to rediscover the fun of vanilla, so easy, so understated — and just like the bread served right here, so good.
- Score: 3 stars
- Handle: 99 Union St., Outdated Pasadena
- Info: 626-696-3741; www.restaurantji.com/ca/pasadena/dos-besos-/
- Delicacies: Extremely Trendy Spanish
- Drinks: Sangria, beer and wine
- When: Dinner, Tuesday via Saturday, lunch Sunday solely
- Environment: East of Raymond Avenue, a block from Union Street’s Restaurant Row, this small indoor/outside Spanish café produces elegant dishes in contrast to any others in SoCal, with quite a few tapas, and 4 beautiful paellas.
- Costs: About $70 per particular person
- On the menu: 13 Tapas ($10-$52), 3 Salads ($16-$25), 4 Paellas ($44-$58), 7 Entrees ($27-$49), 4 Desserts ($7-$12)
- Bank cards: MC, V
- What the celebrities imply: 4 (World class! Price a visit from anyplace!), 3 (Most glorious, even distinctive. Price a visit from anyplace in Southern California.), 2 (A superb place to go for a meal. Price a visit from anyplace within the neighborhood.) 1 (Should you’re hungry, and it’s close by, however don’t get caught in visitors going.) 0 (Actually, not price writing about.)