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LIZARRAN, Fullerton (not-so-brief review)


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LIZARRAN, Fullerton (not-so-brief review)

OCAnn | Jun 27, 2008 02:04 PM

I was going to wait a couple months for the new tapas restaurant to work out any kinks, but curiosity got the best of me. So I went w/Mr OCAnn in tow.

The restaurant has a nice feel; an energetic vibe. There's a couple of flat screens hanging on the corners turned to sports; rather than tv, Spanish music would've been a nicer fit. The layout is a bit odd and the room is almost-but-not-quite sterile; but as its newness wears off, it'll be a more comfortable version of itself.

We went last night and were promptly seated; the restaurant was at capacity. What you do here is you can either go up to the tapas counter and pick out what you want (they plate it for you) or wait for the kitchen staff to pass around trays with fresh-from-the-kitchen fare. After a 12-hour day @ work, I preferred the latter.

All tapas were served on a slice of toasted bread (sliced baguette?) with a toothpick thru it. You pay for the number of toothpicks on your plate, so it's essentially on the honour system. I get the feeling that while most 30-somethings and above will play by that rule, the college town's 20-somethings might not (unless they're on a date). I'm hoping that I'm wrong. Although their website says $1.00 for a round toothpick and $1.50 for a flat toothpick, ours were all $1.75 each.

We had the sangria ($5.25) along w/10 toothpics worth of tapas. Those include one with seafood salad (meh), smoked salmon with sliced eel (mmm!), potato chip w/bacon (interesting), a tiny sausage (good), along with a few others I can't recall (sorry, I had a long day). While noshing on the tapas, we ordered Entrecotta a la Parilla and Tortilla de Patatas.

As we waited, trying more tapas, our young waitress returns to us saying that our orders should be ready shortly. Another couple tapas later, she returns again, apologising sincerely, how our orders didn't go thru and if we could remind her what it was. We ordered again; and we couldn't get upset, since it was an honest mistake for which she owned up to. Up to then, we had 7 toothpicks on our plates, which she "took care of" due to her mistake. Soon after, our orders arrived.

The Entrecotta a la Parilla ($15) was a rib steak, probably 7-8 ounces. It was nicely charred on the outside and rare inside (we ordered medium rare). The thick cut of steak had a nice smokey flavour on the outside while the center most part was still nicely rare. It was garnished with potatoes and sliced, grilled red pepper. We enjoyed this; the steak wasn't overly was just nicely done. It wasn't chewy, but moist and tender.

The Tortilla de Patatas ($7) was a plate of four potatoe (I'm feeling Gore-ish) pancakes and four slices of toast. Good enough potatoes (meh toast), but not sure that I'd order this again.

We were really full by then, but I couldn't leave without ordering the necessary dessert. I was eyeballing the rice pudding, but the waitress recommended the Tarta Santiago con chupito de Vino dulce (cake w/sweet wine), so we went with her suggestion. The thin, dense cake seemed mass-produced and after the sweet wine was poured on top, I found it to be okay.

Our bill, including tax, minus the 7 toothpicks, plus 3 additional toothpicks (after she cleared our 7), came out to $41. Last night, I'd say our meal was good, not great. We definitely plan to go back and try the other tapas. I'd love to say whether this is the real deal, but having never been to Spain, I can't speak to that.

Oh, parking. On the S/E corner of Chapman/Harbor behind Starbucks/Kinko's, there's a one-level parking structure. Parking is a hit-or-miss here. Other parking options include the structure east of Harbor on Wilshire or across the street in the BofA lot.

Lizarran doesn't accept reservations but will take call-in priority seating.

Lizarran Tapas Restaurant
310 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832

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