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Restaurants & Bars

1 meal in San Sebastian -- Akelarre or Arzak?

qpgold | Jul 17, 201211:21 PM     7

I will be in San Se for a couple of nights in September and have a table booked (lunch) at Akelarre & Arzak -- and can't decide on which.

Due to the short stay, I can only fit in one of the two; the remaining few slots are for tapas crawls and a more casual, traditional restaurant (debating between Agorregi jatetxea and Bodegon Alejandro.....any recommendations or comparative reviews are highly appreciated!)

I've poured through numerous reviews on various boards and blogs, including similar questions on Chowhound, but restaurant's quality/standard can fluctuate over time, so I'm particularly interested in the comments of recent visitors (2011/2012.)

What I'm looking for the most is for the taste to blow me away. I'm all up for innovation and creativity (and that's what one would expect in San Se!) but if the technique and presentation is more outstanding and memorable than the taste itself, that's not for me. Ambience and service usually matters, but for this occasion I will be a lone diner so less important. Also, as much as I'm excited about the view that Akelarre has to offer, I will get plenty of that at my next stop Malta so also not as important.

I was gravitating towards Akelarre for more fun, open, tasty and somewhat casual food experience (and better wine for value?), but I saw few comments about their food tasting bland, which is a bit concerning. Coming from Japan, I find some of the western restaurants too salty or too strongly flavoured (like sauce overload), so I do wonder if this is more to do with one's palette...then again, bland is bland.

So, if you could only have one meal at a high-end restaurant in San Se; Akelarre & Arzak---which would you recommend more?

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