Bar Pintxo, the new tapas place from Chef Joe Miller (of Joe’s in Venice), is a scaled-down experience. First of all, it’s a tiny space—capacity 30—with a half-dozen seats at the bar, and tables with stools throughout the rest of the room.
The tapas are also small—often a single slice of grilled baguette with topping. Don’t expect to share a single order of anything. Many of these extra-small plates are about $5 to $8, though the jamón ibérico checks out at $18 for 10 1-1/2-square-inch pieces of ham. Of course, these are carved from a ham that costs about $1,400. It’s certainly delicious, though.
Sautéed calamari, heavy on garlic and parsley, is superb, says carter, worthy of a return visit on its own.
Chorizo and fried egg with potato, gambas al ajillo (garlicky shrimp), and a bacon-wrapped date stuffed with cabrales cheese are all good picks on the small side.
There’s also a selection of larger dishes, including paella that, if a little short on saffron flavor, contains a good amount of perfectly cooked seafood.
As for the wines, good things are said of the Spanish reds, but the staff doesn’t seem to know much about finos from Jerez (a staple in tapas bars in Spain).
Bar Pintxo [Westside–Beaches]
109 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica