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La Mancha on Atlantic Avenue?

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La Mancha on Atlantic Avenue?

Herma Bagga | Jan 5, 2006 03:07 PM

Hi all-- I couldn't find any postings about La Mancha on the boards. Has anyone been to this place? It's a Spanish restaurant on Atlantic, between Clinton and Henry, in downtown Brooklyn. I had a *terrible* experience there recently, and had been so excited to try it, I was wondering if anyone else had had similar reactions to the place. It was my girlfriend's birthday, and she has family from Spain, so we couldn't wait for "La Mancha." The place was nearly empty, but the bar up at the front had most seats taken. They have a fairly pricey menu, and no tapas menu, which one of my friends had told me they had. So we got some tapas-like appetizers, which were all very mediocre. The jamon serrano was cut so thick I could barely get it down, the shrimp cocktail was totally wimpy and uninspired, the garlic mushrooms were so spicy and drowning in their own spicy garlic-ness I could hardly find them. Now, we both love Spanish food, and have eaten lots of it, both in the States, and in Spain, and this was by far the worst. (The wine list was also surprisingly small.) To make matters even worse, the waiter was very condescending and odd; he seemed miffed that we weren't ordering main dishes, and started giving my (fluent) half-Cuban friend very loud Spanish lessons in the middle of the restaurant. As if it wasn't bad enough, the place had a really overwhelming 'macho' aura that night, and by the time we left, the bar upfront was filled, mostly with older men. As we were leaving, one of them called us "lesbians" (in Spanish). We didn't want to start an argument/altercation, but were *shocked* that the waiter/manager did nothing, said nothing, and, in general, facilitated the kind of environment that made that sort of thing acceptable in a high-priced restaurant.
Honestly, I had heard a pretty good review of this restaurant from a friend of mine who had tried it recently, so I was very surprised. I know it's fairly new; anyone have any experiences to share? I feel like an idiot for throwing away $50 on a birthday dinner that really didn't add up. I can't even imagine giving it another try, but it's hard to find (peninsular) Spanish restaurants in Brooklyn. Any recommendations on where to go next??

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