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San Francisco Bay Area Oakland

Oakland (Temescal): Barlata ... or ... B44 East

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Oakland (Temescal): Barlata ... or ... B44 East

rworange | Mar 14, 2009 09:16 PM

Yes, I know there are two other threads out there but the resaurant name in the title is incorrect in them. Here are the other discussions for future searches.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594847
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/603284

More than half of the menu at Barlata is identical to B44. Even the latas ... or dishes served in tins ... are on the B44 menu ... only not served in tins.

So however you feel about the food at B44, you will feel the same at Barlata.

I went for one reason and one reason only ... the horchata de Valencia.

Unlike the Mexican version which is made with rice, the Spanish version is made with tigernuts ... more info here
http://lonegreysquirrel.blogspot.com/...

It was sprinkled with a healthy dose of cinnamon on top and not as sweet or flavorful to me as the Mexican version. It had almost a mild almond flavor to it.

I also had
- Roasted garlic soup
- Revuelto Shrimp and mushroom scramble
- Mar I muntanya Lamb meatballs / squid / chocolate & tomato sauce
- Bacadito de chocolate (grilled chocolate with crema Catalana sauce
- cortado

I ordered dishes not on the B44 menu.

As mentioned there is a complementary dish of olives with three thin slices of bread. They were good, but the above threads raised my expectations too much. They were good, just not as amazing or different as I thought they would be.

This was the first time I had roasted garlic soup so i can't say if it was good or bad. It was nicely presented in a small black cast iron pot and a decent serving. The broth was very light and scrambled egg with maybe three roasted garlic cloves floated on top. A toasted piece of bread came with it. Not a lot of garlic flavor though.

The shrimp was just what is sounded like ... eggs scrambled with shrimp and mushrooms. The bonus here was that it came with a piece of Pa amb tomaquet ... bread / tomato / olive oil . The good part about this dish was the shrimp were maybe some of the best I've had in my life ... attention-getting, eye-opening good ... so sweet and tasty. The sliced mushrooms, while not a lot, were above average also.

People used to rag on me for liking the departed Pri Pri, but their version of Pa amb tomaquet was much better. In either case, I don't think this is a dish that translates well to winter and requires stellar summer tomatoes to raise it to wonderful ... not going to happen in March. The thin, almost watery spread made me glad I didn't pay for this as a separate dish.

Also, the price of $9 is absurd. Last Sunday at Fonda I had a breakfast of shrimp diablo (so to speak) that had the eggs, shriimp, beans, rice, house-baked pastry and excellent coffee ... ALL for $9 ... and Fonda can match or exceed anything Barlata is doing.

The meatball dish was more interesting and intriguing rather than delicious. WIth the correct wine, I think this could be very nice. It also shows the promise Barlata might have.

It smelled wonderfully chocolate-y. The sauce was a little like a thick, complex mole. The lamb meatballs almost had a taste of liver to them ... though not in a bad way. While the squid didn't add anything to the dish, they were a fine component/

Skip the dessert I ordered. This is two slices of crustless white bread spread with a chocolate sauce with hints of orange and grilled. There was a little bowl of sauce to dip it in. While this sounded interesting, it didn't taste like much.

Other desserts which aren't on the website yet are
- Rice pudding parfait with strawberries and cream
- Plato de dolces - almond cookies, chocolate dipped candied peel, turron, sweet and spicy peanuts and rum-raisin orange truffles. I wish this is what I ordered instead.
- Helado en lata - Turron nugat and chocolate ice cream served in ice cream

The cortado was lovely and reminded me how much I liked this coffee in Spain.

I like the space quite a lot. The lines are neat and clean. Ther are a dozen two tops that can be moved close together for groups of 4 - 6. There's the big 20 seat communal table. A little alcove table and a six seat grey marble bar. A lot of training was still going on tonight but they seem to have a nice staff.

The bar has items like cans of Matiz sardines, jars of fig paste and a few other jarred and tinned items that will be for sale. There are eclectic touches like toys, skeletans dining and Oaxacan carved animals scattered here and there.

This is Beldon food though. For the decade I worked in the Financial district, I always thought all those restaurants were ok, a bit overpriced, but nothing ever wowed me.

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Barlata
4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

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