During the last 15 years or so, I have always visited "La Trainera" www.latrainera.es in Calle Lagasca 60, when in Madrid. The understated and cool style of this fish and seafood restaurant has always appealed to me. The quality of the food is outstanding and the atmosphere fantastic. In fact, what I really like about it, is that it is not a "concept" restaurant that tries to be fashionable and trendy. "La Trainera" always stuck to its non-concept concept.
Last Saturday, 17 February, I was at "La Trainera" again with a friend. I had very much looked forward to my visit. My friend and I both ordered Sole as a main course. To start off our meal, I ordered two dozens (24) of "Almejas" (clams) for the two of us and two "Carabineros" (King Prawns) each. Also this time, what we ate was very good. When we received our check, however, we were completely shocked. The total was €382 including 2 bottles of wine at €17 each. Here's what happened; on the check, the "Almejas" were listed as 1 kilo at €140 and the "Carabineros" as 0,8 kilos at €112. Despite my repeated protests, the restaurant insisted that we had consumed this amount of seafood and that the price was such. I paid the check. Frankly, the whole situation made us sad.
On Tuesday, I returned to the restaurant in order to complain and to try to fix the situation, i.e. get some money back. Surely, there must have been a mistake. I was received by three gentlemen who kept on referring to each other as the boss. After lengthy discussions in Spanish one of the gentlemen instructed a man behind the fish counter to weigh 24 "Almejas" in front of my eyes in order to prove that the restaurant was right. This was done and they weighed 0,6 kilos. I was in heaven. I was immediately told, however, that "the Almejas I had had were much bigger". I don't think so. Then, the boss instructed the same man to weigh 4 "Carabineros". The man made sure to find the largest "Carabineros" I have ever seen and put them on the scale. They were the size of cucumbers. 0,6 kilos. Yet again, I was told that the ones I had on Saturday were even bigger. At this point I began to laugh. The situation became very funny. Suddenly, one of the bosses offered me €70 in cash as compensation for....I'm not really sure.
The bottom line is, that in my opinion, "La Trainera" has become a tourist trap. Despite the good food I will have to avoid it in the future. It makes me a little sad because I always very much loved going there.