My parents tell me I spent the first year of my life in Spain, that Spanish was my first language--and that the turds of Spanish mountain goats constituted my first food. I don't remember any of it but somehow it all must have imprinted because I've really had a hankering for things Spanish lately
Aside from those great crunchy lentils at Cobras & Matadors (come to think of it, they DO seem familiar!), I've recently enjoyed
SPAIN -- Glendale Bl just below the 2 Fwy. Recommended here before by, I think, Mr Grub and Icarus. A real dive, yes, but with a pretty unique atmosphere. Small deli in front with dry goods as well as counter stuff. Xmas decorations in the dining room that I assume are there year round Friendly waiters Anyway, the food: A little overwhelmed by the extensive and idiosyncratic tapas menu, my friend and I chose some unexciting empanadas to start. But after that we dined VERY well on a big mixed meat and seafood paella served in what seemed to me proper style, that is in the pan. It was greasy sticky and abundant with mussels, shrimp, good sausages, etc. About 17 clams for a paella for two, the price was reasonable, if not dirt cheap Next time, I want to try one of Spain's five dollar roast chickens, available to-go only
"THE BARCELONA SANDWICH"-- Say Cheese, Silverlake's venerable cheese-shop-cum-café, has a new menu - they've scaled back on their offerings, and now charge more for less. Despite the steep prices (8 or 9 bucks for a sandwich) I think the change is for the better - streamlined menu makes for streamlined service. In any case I like this addition to the menu: the Barcelona comes with manchego cheese, that prosciutto-like spanish ham the name of which I'm blanking on right now -- jamon serrano, that's it!-- and roasted peppers. All piled between two crusty pieces of sourdough drizzled with olive oil. Very nice. Btw Say Cheese also sells an aged Manchego that's f-ing out of this world
SPEAKING OF MANCHEGO, if you buy some at the Say Cheese spin-off Picholine (opened by French defectors from Say Cheese), as I did a month or so ago, they'll offer you quince paste, and inform you that in Spain the cheese and the paste are eaten together. If you're like me, you'll be suckered into buying the quince past, and be somewhat disappointed by it - it's a little, well, pasty. Next time I'll have my cheese with fresh fruit instead Still, glad I tried it.
I'll end this rambling with a belated addendum to the Costco thread. Last time I was there, I picked up a bottle of Rioja Riserva, a fancier and in this case older (1994 ) version of the Marques de Casare (sp?) available at TJs. Tried it last night. No wine expert me but I thought it was pretty good. More tannic, more musty, tougher than the easy-drinking rioja I've had before