Tried La Vara the other night for dinner. For those that don't know, it's in the restaurant next to Ted & honey which has gone through a bunch of restaurants recently.
Food was generally very good but the portions are tiny for the price. Three cornmeal empanadillas filled with razor clams and crabs were delicious but $9 for 3 pieces the size of my thumb. Yes I know empanadillas means small empanada but this was a little ridiculous.
The bric de alcelgas filled with kale, raisins and pinenuts was awesome, like delicious mini spanikopita, but again very pricey at $9 for 4 tiny pieces.
Fried artichokes were good but I've had better versions at maialino and even bar stuzzichino.
The fried fish plate was awesome. Pieces of skate, squid, and needle fish. I can see ordering this and a glass of wine or sherry and sitting at the bar on a late afternoon. Greaseless and tasty Probably the best thing we ate.
Lamb meatballs with mint yogurt were good but the first batch they brought out were cold in the middle and again 5 meatballs smaller than ping pongs for $12 felt like a rip off. Admittedly they were very juicy and tasty.
Finally, the fideua. Again, small portion, big price and honestly just ok. The fideuas were a big over cooked and the seafood was a bit boring (shrimp clams, etc). The version at casa mono blows this out of the water.
All in all though, the food was very good. I'd definitely go back and try some more dishes but the price tag is a little high to make this more than an occasional meal, unless you're sitting at the bar and only ordering a dish or two. Oh, and the wine pours are definitely not generous.