Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bar Celona

Patatas bravas; tortilla; boquerones
Bar Celona: 46 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; tel. 626.405.1000


HOT; HOT; HOT. Too hot to think about eating in the middle of the day, but we're seeing more Shakespeare tonight, and won't want to do that on a full stomach. What to do?

Well, since we're spending the afternoon at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, let's drop by a tapas place I recall from a couple of years ago. The waitress has just stepped out of a Pedro Almodóvar movie; there's a curious family from the Philippines at a nearby table; next us, a courtly elderly fellow eats with his wife, both a little unfamiliar with tapas and eating chicken salads instead.

I do love patatas bravas, fried roughly sliced potatoes with chile peppers and such. You could taste the lard on these, subtle for lard; they lacked salt I thought, but that's easily rectified. The tortilla, a thick egg-and-potato omelet, was fine, if not up to the tapas bars of Sevilla.

And the boquerones! Four slices of baguette, heaped with sweet pepper purée, two of them red, two green, with crossed sweet anchovies on top, and thin-sliced onions beneath... delicious.

Aires de Arosa AlbariƱo 2005

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