Bellota - soma

Had a great meal at bellota, highlights were the beef tartare, spanish mackerel, uni croqueta, crab with iberico lardo, and the paella.

Getting a leg up on dinner


Cruda - raw grass-fed beef, lobster alioli, rice puff, harissa

Pulpo - steam octopus, marble potato, celery root

Caballa - poached spanish mackerel, mandarin ‘caviar’, sunchoke

Atun - raw bigeye tuna, caper, lime, nunez de prado

Cangrejo - steam crab salad, iberico lardo, apple & brioche

Croqueta - creamy clam & sea-urchin fritter, pickled ramp, seaweed powder

Tortilla - spanish omelette, potato, onion, rainbow chard, crispy chorizo alioi

Bravas - crisped kennebec potatoes, chipotle bravas salsa, smoky alioli

Canalon - baked shrimp-stuffed pasta, crispy sweetbread, mushroom, honey-sherry salsa

Dungeness crab paella


What did you think of the paella?

We had the pork shoulder paella and it was one my favorite dishes there, but I’m not a paella expert, except I do know that I like tasty rice, esp. when the soccarat is like a freshly made tortilla chip.

Nice meal @PorkyBelly. This was on our list thanks to @ipsedixit, but our trip got cut short. Next time for sure. :slight_smile:

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I thought the rice was firm, well seasoned and with a bit of heat, however the soccarat was only near the edges of the pan, I also didn’t taste any saffron. But topping the rice with the fresh sweet crab meat just took the dish to another level.

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I think it’s the kind of place where you if there wasn’t soccarat all the way across the pan could send it back and they wouldn’t bat an eye.

Even with that big ol’ crab on top?
That would be a very pricey return.

The Absinthe group didn’t get where it is through unhappy customers or shoddy quality control.

Why don’t we have spanish like this in LA??? :confounded:

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What about Ración or Jose Andres’s places?

Nice use of Uni for the creamy inside of the Croqueta.

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Well, it exists in OC. Closer than SF at least if you’re desperate.

Had lunch while getting tires at Costco. Limited mid-afternoon menu.

I thought the red was hot sauce, but they serve the pa amb tomaquet with the tomato on the side.

Looking forward to trying the paella.

That’s surprising, they don’t even serve their jamon iberico de bellota at the bar.

The mid-afternoon menu is a tiny fraction of the regular menu. It looked like the iberico de bellota is hand-sliced, and no one was working that station.

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Finally got back to try more things.

Ordered the namesake jamón Ibérico de bellota ($40), this is what we got. Asked the server what the fuck, he said they trim it a lot. I meant to ask what they did with the fat, I’d order that dish instead. Says hand-sliced on the menu, but it was very thin and absolutely uniform. Again, what the fuck?

Looks like I neglected to photograph the tortilla (“Spanish potato, onion-&-tetilla omelette, mushroom alioli, black truffle,” $25). Came out hot, browned, with cheese, salad, and trumpet mushrooms on top. Looked pretty much like this Yelp photo:

Neglected to photograph the arròs negre (paella of squid ink rice, shrimp, calamari, clam, olive, piquillo pepper, $62) as well. We wanted to wait to order it but the server said it took 40 minutes so we said OK, go ahead. It came out in more like 20 minutes.

It was topped with huge prawns and tiny clams that were cooked perfectly. The rice was dry and slightly chalky, and didn’t taste like it was made with seafood stock (contrary to Chowseeker1999’s “it might’ve been a touch too overpowering with the oceanic brininess” five years ago) or with a significant amount of olive oil or garlic. No hint of socarrat. Looked much like this Yelp photo only with five prawns.

Nothing was downright bad, but the jamon, tortilla, and arròs negre were like nothing I’ve ever had and did nothing to satisfy the cravings that took me there. Maybe they get a lot of skinny, fat-averse customers (looked like almost all techies, which makes sense since they’re in the AirBnb building) and changed the recipes accordingly. “Why is all this gross fat on the ham?” “This omelette is cold, take it back and bring me a hot one.” “Take this paella is too garlicky and fishy, take it back and run it through the deflavorizer.” Outside of being baffled by the food we had a good time.

The bill included $1.50 for mas pan and $2.00 for mas tomate, which we did not order.