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Morgan | Jul 25, 200401:08 PM    

Two friends from L.A. and I went to Bocadillos last night after martinis elsewhere. We arrived around 9 (they don't take reservations); the place looked about half-full. Nice feel--modern and spacious but warm. There is a long table in the middle of the room that holds 18 people (if I counted right). We sat around the far end of it. One of my friends had bought several bottles of Spanish red wine from the wine place in the Ferry Building (he found them very helpful and friendly), as they don't have a license yet.

We were so busy talking (I haven't seen one of them for several months, and the other for over a year), that I didn't take any notes (bad Chowhound!). The menu was very hard to read--tiny print and the light was fine for eating but not for reading. One of my friends did the ordering. The menu has about 10 sections ("Bocadillos", "Peppers", etc.) with three things listed under each. We shared 8 dishes. The standout was the one bocadillo we got, which was a hot sausage (I think that was mentioned in the other report on this board). I loved the fluffy bakalou and the breaded and fried sardines and the quail. We ended with a dish of oranges with some sort of cream and the cheese plate, which came with a bit of quince paste and a bit of fig bread (more like paste). It was very reasonable--with a good tip, it was $30 each. We also left a little of each wine (we opened two) for the server to try.

At the end we asked the server how to say "thank you" in Basque, and he turned to the bar five feet away and asked someone sitting there. It turned out to be Gerald Hirigoyen. He came over and I mentioned that I'd been to Piperade and have his cookbook, and that I'd tried to get reservations at Piperade but it was full, and the person on the phone had suggested Bocadillos. He said "Oh, yes, I remember that call." I guess he answers the phone on top of everything else!

Anyway, we really enjoyed it, and I will definitely go back. They showed us the three-page wine list (again, tiny print and VERY difficult to read), which looks promising.

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