Food in LA: Bar Pintxo

On my way back to Bangkok, I had a twelve-hour layover in Los Angeles.  I’m super-fortunate that Gary seems to have an infinitely flexible schedule (although he swore that if I had been in town the following day, he wouldn’t have had any free time) and an inexplicable willingness to spend the afternoon running me around town.

I also really fortunate that Gary and W are such foodies and do all the legwork of trying and evaluating restaurant, so that when I stop by for a brief visit they always have the perfect recommendation.  Tuesday evening’s recommendation was Bar Pintxo, a Spanish tapas bar in Santa Monica.  We were graced with Steve’s presence, as he had a break in his globetrotting and drove up from the OC to join us.

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The restaurant is just a block from the beach, conveniently located near the Third Street Promenade.  They have a happy hour until 6:00 and we managed to sneak in just beforehand and order our first round of drinks and some of the tapas specials.

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The restaurant isn’t very large and is built around the kitchen area.  It is very cozy with tall tables and bar stools and bottles of wine and a huge mirror adorning the walls.

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Of course, one must start Spanish tapas with some sangria, right?  This red wine concoction was very good, not too sweet.

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The happy hour specials include 6 pintxos (“pinches”) for $6, so they loaded up two platters for the four of us.  The platter above has crimini mushrooms stuffed with mushroom mousse and manchego cheese; fresh tomato and garlic; and huevos rellenos con vinagreta vasca, deviled eggs with a pepper and onion relish in a vinaigrette dressing, all on grilled bread.

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The second platter had Serrano jamon (ham) on grilled bread with olive oil; chorizo Bilboa (spicy sausage) with cherry tomato halves; and tomato conserve and manchego cheese, all served on grilled bread.

The pintxos were all very tasty, a nice variety of simple but bold flavors.

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W continued the ordering with frisee and shaved manchego cheese dressed with a quince vinaigrette and served on a flatbread.

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Next came a paella with razor clams.  Very nice and clean flavors.

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You can’t order tapas without ordering tortilla espanola, the Spanish style frittata with egg, potatoes, and caramelized onions served with a side of aioli.

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We also ordered the brocheta de cerdo, mojo verde – the pork loin skewer with vegetables and a herb and lemon pesto.  The pork was nice and juicy, although the meat itself didn’t have a lot of flavor.  The sauce, though, packed a punch.

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Me enjoying the meal.

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For dessert we shared a plate of churros with a chocolate dipping sauce.  This was pretty unexceptional and the sauce was like thick hot chocolate, not really thick enough for dipping.

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The arroz con leche, rice pudding with fresh peaches, was much nicer.  They bruleed the top slightly, adding a nice texture.  And of course rice pudding is a favorite of mine.

The service was friendly although not super-attentive, the atmosphere was convivial, and the food was tasty.  Just what I needed before a long flight back to Thailand.

 

0 thoughts on “Food in LA: Bar Pintxo

  1. And next time you have a 12-hour layover in LA ~ ~ ~ (I live in OC, about an hour away from LAX, and have a pretty flexible schedule too)!

  2. Photos –  very good, food – looked yummy. But the rice pudding was drool worthy. Glad you could use your layover as fun instead of lost time!

  3. Cripes! Can I gain weight from reading this blog? That looks so good. The pintxos look scrumptious as does the paella! I haven’t made paella in years. Time to dig out the recipe.

  4. It was definitely an enjoable evening!  Almost feel like “dim sum” time ala Spain.  Great Xanga friends, yummy food, and atmosphere for chit-chats.  Thinking back, I might have talked too much, maybe the effect of alcohol in the sangria?  I had a wonderful time, and glad you find time to stop over in LA.  We should meet up again when you are in the neighborhood next time. 

  5. I just realized we consumed so much delicious food, but would very much like to try that again with W later this week maybe! And yes indeed, good timing to catch up with Steve before he flies off! We should have another meet up somewhere in Asia?

  6. Great pictures and what wonderful company to share such good food. Chris I want an easy recipe for rice pudding. if you have one and won’t mind sharing, I would beg one off you.

  7. @yang1815 – Fellow diners are camera shy.  I do have some of Gary, as he’s posted his photo before so no surprises there.  W and Steve stay hidden, though, kind of like Kenny’s bf.@ZSA_MD – Zakiah, I’d like an easy recipe for rice pudding, too! =D  I’ll have to see if I can find one that I really, really like.  I think one scented with jasmine would be fantastic, don’t you?@CurryPuffy – @stevew918 – Hear, hear for HKG!@TheCheshireGrins – Small plates is such a great concept for precisely that reason, Meg.@Senlin – Not an expert in this but I bet you are right!  LOL@stevew918 – Not to talkative at all.@Passionflwr86 – Isn’t it interesting how it goes from being a food porn blog to a travel blog to a political blog to a random entries about Thailand blog then back to being a food porn blog?@csn71650 – You should write about making paella…@murisopsis – The rice pudding was really good.@slmret – Yes, that’s true.  I think next July we’re going to use LA as a few day getaway before going to the Bay Area for a wedding.  Tawn should be in tow then.  Let’s plan a meet-up.

  8. The food looks delicious. I would love a sangria right about now! I think it would be a dream for yourself, Gary and me to join up one day for an ultimate foodie night out. 🙂

  9. @portiajules – Thanks for stopping by.@brooklyn2028 – Seriously, Sheldon, I would really like to get back up to Toronto and see you, meet Matt, etc.  Or maybe we can find some neutral ground (Chicago?) to stake out.  I was going to head up there this July but the timing dind’t work out.  How about you and Felix come out to Hong Kong over the new year’s?

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