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Posts tagged ‘tapas bar’

Restaurant Review: Lulu Bar

Location: 510 17 Avenue SW

I would first like to apologize that it took so long to get around to posting this review. What that means is that some details about the meal may be lost due to the length of time since I went (we went on October 10). Though I consult the online menu, sometimes they change between the day I dine there and the day I finally get around to the review (this is the case for this review).

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner, cat-sat and discovered how allergic I really was to cats, and have been so stressed out by work that I feel like I’ve aged a couple decades in the last few weeks. I’m trying my best to take care of myself. Thank you for following my reviews. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed eating and writing about my experience.


The original plan for the day was to go to Gyu-Kaku due to the fact that my points were expiring soon. However, the day before, I got a call stating that they had not completed renovations, so at the recommendation of one of my lawyers, we decided on Lulu Bar.

Lulu Bar has been on my radar and list of places to try, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to come here.

We ordered in two rounds. For the first we ordered the Fried Coconut Squid, Poke, Watermelon Salad (which is no longer on their menu), King Oyster Mushroom Skewer, Loco Moco, and Beretta Farms Grilled Beef Bavette.

As you all probably already know, I have a weak spot for squid. In particular, I enjoy the slight chewiness of the protein, so I was most excited for the Fried Coconut Squid. Along with the fact that it came highly recommended by our server, I had high expectations for it. The squid was served with grilled pineapple, pickled jalapenos, topped with cilantro, and served with a lime dipping sauce. The breading on the squid was light and not at all greasy. It carried a hint of coconut that didn’t overpower the dish and the lime, pineapple, and jalapenos provided a perfect counterbalance. As I mentioned, I prefer a bit more chew to my squid and I didn’t find that with this dish. That is not to say that it detracted much from the dish, but a soft piece of squid always gives me the impression of it being undercooked (even though I know it’s not). This dish was so good that we ended up ordering a second one in round two.

The second dish that arrived was the Poke, which consisted of red tuna, tamari, avocado, edamame, lime aioli, and a sesame cracker. To be honest, I could’ve had another one of these too. Flavour-wise, it was well balanced, but in terms of the size of the bite, I would’ve liked the pieces cut a little smaller as that would’ve made it easier to fit on the cracker. While I like being given a generous portion, I would’ve preferred a little less of the “topping” or a few more sesame crackers as the ratio wasn’t quite right. We ended up with more “topping” than crackers and ask delicious as it was, it lost something eating it on its own without the cracker (the crunchy element of the dish).

This was followed by the Watermelon Salad. In recent years, I’ve gained a serious appreciation for what a good salad can provide to a meal. I know I’m not always the best when it comes to eating vegetables or fruits, but the freshness of a watermelon salad is incomparable. As with most watermelon salads, it consists of basil, as that is a natural pairing. However, this salad was not paired with feta, as it often is, which I preferred. Given that this restaurant highlighted the Asian in the fusion, feta would not have fit into this dish well. I find that the use of feta would’ve given it a bit of heaviness and made the dish stand well on it’s own, but in this instance we had ordered this dish as a pairing for the beef, so the lack of a cheese worked out better. In this dish, as a substitute to the creaminess of the feta, the salad was dressed in canola oil. While it gave a smooth mouth-feel, the idea and sensation of the inside of my mouth being coated in oil is somewhat repulsive. The salad was also topped with pickled onions and almond slivers for texture, rounding the dish out and highlighting the natural sweetness of the watermelon. There’s nothing i hate more than a flavourless watermelon.

The most dish I was most curious about were the skewers. Originally, we had wanted to go for the beef tongue. However, upon arriving and review of the menu, we were informed that it was unavailable. i was also curious about the House Spam skewer, but we agreed, as a group, that it may not be worth it. We, ultimately settled on the King Oyster Mushroom skewer. I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried a king oyster mushroom or if this is my first time, but I knew that it was one of the meatier mushrooms and was excited to try it. When it came out, I wasn’t sure how to react. On the one hand, the portion size was somewhat disappointing, but on the other, it was a skewer and it was exactly what it purported itself to be. A part of me felt like this was a waste of money and after tasting it, I kind of agree. The skewer was drizzled in a semi-sweet, semi-salty, dark sauce, not unlike unagi sauce and served with a mushroom “relish”. The relish wasn’t quite what I had expected and wasn’t all that pleasant on my palate. I just thought it a strange choice to pair grilled mushrooms with, essentially, a pickled mushroom dip. I do hope to return here and try out the beef tongue skewer in the future.

The skewers were followed by the Loco Moco which is ginger fried rice with fermented chili, a beef patty, smothered in mushroom gravy, and topped with a fried egg and crispy fried onions. On paper and in theory, this sounds quite good, but unfortunately, there were some issues with it. I’m not sure if the rice used was too “fresh” or if it had just been super saturated in gravy as it was very mushy. If the latter, then Val’s suggestion to either reduce the amount of gravy or increase the amount of rice would’ve helped. I didn’t get very much ginger from the rice and the overall mushy texture of the rice was very off-putting. I wouldn’t order this dish again, if I were to come back. The disappointment of this dish was probably comparable to my disappointment with the mushroom skewers, if not more so.

The last dish was the Beretta Farms Grilled Beef Bavette in a Thai peppercorn sauce, topped with basil, jalapenos and served with shishito peppers. We had asked for this to be cooked medium as most of us take it at that temperature and our server said that is generally the temperature it was served at so that worked out well. However, when the dish arrived, it was more on the medium rare/rare side. It was well seasoned, but there was nothing special about it. It is also worthwhile to note that some of the peppers were ridiculously spicy, while others had no spice, so if you decide to order this dish and eat the peppers, tread carefully.

After our first round, we were still feeling a little peckish so we order a second round consisting only of two dishes and then ordered dessert. We ordered another squid and decided to try the salt and pepper pork belly, as it was one of the items under snacks that had stood out to me.

Generally speaking, pork belly is so good because of its meat to fat ratio. However, the preparation does account for something. When the dish first arrived, two things happened. First, the smell of fish sauce hit us like a truck and second, the size of the dish definitely screamed snack. Given the price, I can’t really complain. Whenever I order pork belly, I expect it to have crispy skin, like at Chinese restaurants or BBQ meat shops, but I’m constantly disappointed because no one else prepares it in this way. Flavour wise, it wasn’t bad, but there was little too much fish sauce and lime, putting it out of balance. I’m not sure if that was the point, as the purpose of a snack could very well have been to whet the appetite and encourage more drinking and eating, but as it was at the end of the meal, it was just salty and very sour, which wasn’t all that pleasant.

We rounded out the meal with a single dessert, shared between the four of us since we still had some big food plans for the rest of the day. Two of the desserts on the menu caught our eye: The Baked Hula and the Cotton Cake. We ultimately chose the Cotton Cake (which is no longer on their menu). It was described as being somewhat like a Japanese cheesecake, but it had none of the jiggle and the consistency wasn’t typical of a Japanese cheesecake. it was served with a white chocolate chantilly and black sesame ganache. The dessert was arranged in an oddly phallic sort of way and could’ve done with better plating, but I suppose it does come down to taste. Since it was a while ago, I can’t remember the precise nuances of the dish, but I do remember the cake being slightly drier than I would’ve liked, even with the compote, chantilly, and ganache. When I think about it, there isn’t anything spectacular or memorable about it. After finishing this dessert, we asked our server which of the desserts was her favourite and she answered that it was The Baked Hula. I know that the next time I come back, I am definitely trying this dessert.

I love dishes served family style and I love little dishes because it allows me to sample so many different things in one meal. I’ve often joked about having food A.D.D., but honestly, it’s true. I like variety and restaurants like this indulge that side of me, which makes me very happy. Despite a few dishes that didn’t go down all that well, I really like this restaurant and would definitely come back again. Based on this experience and the dishes we sampled, I would give this place a 3.7/4.

Restaurant Exterior
Restaurant Interior
Restaurant Interior
Table Succulent
Fried Coconut Squid
Watermelon Salad
King Oyster Mushroom Skewer
Loco Moco
Beretta Farms Grilled Beef Bavette
Salt and Pepper Pork Belly
Cotton Cake

Restaurant Review: Barcelona Tavern

Location: 501 8th Ave SW

It seems like such a long time ago that I was here. And indeed that is so. I actually visited this place on October 8, which is nearly two months ago, but things got busy (read: NaNoWriMo happened) and this completely slipped my mind.

Alex and I came here before the hockey game – the Calgary Flames vs. the LA Kings. Since we worked next door, we were constantly passing this place. I had booked my lawyer in at this restaurant a couple times and actually, a lot of the restaurants on my list are places I’ve booked him into. Alex’s boyfriend had the chance to come here and he had liked it. Alex, herself came and was pretty impressed, so we decided on this night that this would be a good place to go to before the game.

As it was so long ago, I forget if we had to make a reservation or not. It wasn’t super busy when we were there as it was still pretty early. However, despite that, it was still quite noisy, which is the same feedback that Alex had given me when she had gone for lunch. Comparatively speaking, I don’t think this place reached the volume levels of Paper St. but it was still somewhat noisy.

We were seated and our orders taken. I decided to go with two appies rather than a main, though those looked really good too. I ordered the calamari and the burrata (the latter doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore). Alex had the truffled mushroom “pizza”/”flatbread.” The last time Alex came, she had the calamari and loved it.

The calamari were Monterey Bay baby squid paired with a duo of sauces: an avocado salsa verde and a roasted red pepper almond romesco sauce. I can go either way with salsa verdes as every restaurant prepares it a little differently. So sometimes I absolutely love it, while other times it’s just all right. This time was the latter. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but when there are two choices, we naturally gravitate towards one over the other and we often have the tendency to compare them, voluntarily or not. Up against the romesco, this salsa verde just couldn’t compare. The romesco provided the perfect balance that this dish needed. I found myself near the end practically wiping every last bit off the plate. While this is not the best calamari/sauce pairing I’ve had, it was pretty good. I really like it when they’re not just rings or tentacles. Having the whole squid is such an experience. Plus, being baby squid, they were bite size, which is even better. The burrata was really something else. I had never had anything like it. Sure, I have had burrata once or twice, but never the entire thing. It looked like a giant mozzarella ball until you cut into it. The interior practically just oozed out. It was perfect for spreading on the crostinis. However, despite that, the crostinis were sliced very thinly and were quite long so that made for quite the challenge to spread anything across it as it would snap whenever I tried. Additionally, the corn relish and tomato “jam” were somewhat wet and further weakened the integrity of the crostini. Unfortunately, because it’s been a while, I can’t remember which of the two side “sauces” were better. I know both were good, but one of them just inched the other out by the slightest of margins. Presentation wise, I thought it was a bit not good having the knife pointing directly at me.

I’m going to start by saying I love truffle anything. I know that white truffle oil is super overpowering and can be a bit much for some people, but I absolutely love it and as such, Alex’s truffled mushroom was a dish I had also considered getting. It had three kinds of mushrooms on it: portobello, oyster, and shiitake. I’ve always thought of shiitake as an Asian mushroom and always find it strange when it’s been featured in a very Western style dish. I guess also that I associate specific flavours and textures with the shiitake that I personally don’t think fit the use of these mushrooms in Western style cooking. However, in this flatbread/pizza, I hardly even noticed them. Again, this was pretty decent and had the flavour profile I had expected of a truffled mushroom pizza. It was an interesting choice to include chili oil as a pairing for this pizza. I would’ve thought chili flakes would’ve been a better fit. It was good, but not the best I have had. I still give the pizza at Scopa (now it’s a Cibo I believe) the honour of being called the best truffled mushroom pizza I’ve ever had. That fried rosemary on top of the pizza is what did it for me.

We finished off the meal with a white chocolate creme brulee. While it was pretty good, I know something about it disappointed me, but now I can’t remember what it was. It’s so frustrating to write a review when there are things you could say, but time has erased them all. I did find it a little weird that the raspberries got torched or baked into it and turn a weird brownish colour.

Overall, it was good food and good service. I’m just sad that I waited so long before writing this and have since forgotten a lot of the experience. I suppose that means I have to come back again soon to try have something else off their menu.

Based on this experience, I’d give this place a 3/5.

Restaurant Interior
Back: Truffled Mushroom Pizza Middle: Calamari Front: Burrata
White Chocolate Raspberry Creme Brulee

Restaurant Review: Vin Room

Location: 2310 4 St SW (Mission Location)

This was the second time I had been to Vin Room Mission. The first time was some time in the last year of my undergrad, but we came primarily for drinks rather than food. The menu had intrigued me since and I finally got the chance to try it out.

After an entire summer of promising to hang out and see each other, the plan to do so finally came to fruition. Being a tapas bar, I knew that portion sizes would be small and prices would be high. We started small and ordered five dishes: wild boar gnocchi, chicken meatballs, beef carpaccio, lobster nachos, and crab cakes. The wild boar gnocchi is not quite a tapas item, it was large enough to be considered a dish on its own if you wanted. The purpose of the gnocchi was primarily to fill us up (and gnocchi is very filling since it’s essentially fluffy pillows of carbs). This is one of the best gnocchi I’ve had to date for Brae, it’s one more dish I can add to the list of things he likes to eat. The biggest surprise were the chicken meatballs. On the menu, they didn’t seem like they’d be anything special, but the chili jam that came with it elevated it to a fine dining status. The biggest disappointment for me were the crab cakes. It was my most highly anticipated dish, but it fell flat on many levels. I understand that crab cakes are inherently “crumbly,” but I just expected it to hold together much better than it did. There was a lot less curry sauce than I expected and I was only able to detect hints of the curry because there was so little of it. Of course I don’t need the cakes to be swimming in it, but enough to drizzle over the cakes or provide more than a hint of flavour was along the lines of what I was looking for. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of tatakis or carpaccios (which are essentially the same thing, save for the seasonings -one being Japanese and the other Italian). Combined with the arugula and russet potato chip that it was meant to be paired with, the delicate flavour of that particular carpaccio got lost. The lobster nachos were exactly as I expected: chopped up lobster piled on top of tortilla chips with a whole bunch of plain chips below. I found the best way to eat them was to take one chip that had been loaded with lobster and divide it between two or three other plain chips. However, there was still so much extra that I started putting the ground wild boar from the gnocchi on them and this turned out to be a great idea. Not only was it delicious, but it made sure none of the boar went to waste.

We had tried to stick around until happy hour as the oysters would be offered at a discounted price. In an attempt to prolong our visit, we ordered a calamari. Calamari is typically my favourite and this one didn’t live up to its potential. While the dipping sauce and breading were well done, the calamari itself was a little problematic. The first bite was normal, but as you continued to chew, a sort of liquid started seeping out, leaving a rather unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth.

For a Friday night I found it to be quieter than I expected. Perhaps it was because we had an “early” dinner (the reservation was at 7pm, but regardless). I’m guessing that most of the patrons were seated on the patio to enjoy the last days of summer. As we found out later, their patio is dog friendly and two of the friends I went with had dogs so one of the waitresses gave them each a small doggy bag with treats to take home, inviting us to bring the dogs next time we visited. We were served by two waitresses and one of them seemed like she was a location owner or at the very least a manager as she was dressed differently from everyone else. According to Brae, the waitress that was the first to help us grew increasing irritable by the end of the night. I didn’t quite understand why she wanted us out of there so quickly. I mean there were plenty of empty tables and we were still kind of ordering food.

Despite those minor hiccups, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Taking everything into consideration, I would rate this place a 3.5/4. I would return here, but probably not in the recent future as the price is expensive and the menu has not changed much since I was here the first time.


Chicken Meatballs


Crab Cakes


Wild Boar Gnocchi


Lobster Nachos



Lobster Nachos


Beef Carpaccio

Restaurant Review: Tango Bistro

Location: 6920 Macleod Trail S

After much debate, I finally decided on this tapas bar for dinner with a friend. I had been here almost ten years ago and the only thing I remember was my dad complaining about how small the portions were and how expensive everything was. At the time I would have had to agree, but knowing what I know now (and the fact that it is a tapas bar), I think it’s quite normal. I’m all about giving places a second chance and having been so long, I expected things to be different from what they were when I first came.

Now, I am by no means a big eater (though at times that may seem questionable), so we decided to go with four dishes: the chorizo sliders, tuna tataki, cajun chicken egg rolls, and hibachi steak poutine. The first to arrive was the tuna tataki. Based on the presentation of this dish, I had expected something along the lines of a poke, but this is not what I got. My first impression was that it was nothing like a tataki; it reminded me more of a tartare. The tataki was served with a ponzu sauce, wasabi aioli, and egg roll crisps. The egg roll crisps had black and white sesame seeds baked into them making it a bit of a mess to eat for each bite sent them flying in all directions, occasionally raining down into my lap. The crisps were a bit hard (like very crunchy) and I could have done with something a little easier to bite into to pair with the tuna. The flavour of the tataki itself was fairly good. The green onions provided a variation in texture and taste, but they were not enough to lift the dish to the level of freshness I expected. The aioli caught me by surprise because I didn’t really notice it until I got a large dollop on a slice of avocado. Typically I’m not a huge fan of wasabi, so while it was not as strong as having wasabi straight, it still packed a punch. There was a bit of a spicy sauce on the side which I would have liked to see more of, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Next came the Hibachi Steak Poutine. As small as it looked, it was awfully filling (because potatoes…). I was disappointed that a pile of cheese curds sat atop the dish unmelted. As I bit into them I hoped that they’d be the squeaky Quebec cheese curds that are typically used in poutines; they weren’t. My first thought was that this dish was pretty salty, but it’s a poutine, so I didn’t expect others. The hibachi sauce was a nice contrast to the traditional gravy and the steak and shitake mushrooms were a nice addition to the poutine (because come on, it doesn’t get more classic than mushrooms and steak). The flavours were good, but the fact that it had me constantly reaching for and draining my water, was not. Next came the sliders and the egg rolls, almost simultaneously. Chorizo is typically a dry sausage, but this was not that. It was more like a patty with lettuce, avocado, tomato, and pickled onion. Though the menu claims to have roasted jalapeno, I couldn’t detect even a hint of it. My friend mentioned that his slider was a bit dry, but perhaps I didn’t notice because of all the other ingredients on it or that I had expected chorizo to have been much drier than this slider was. I’d have to say this was one of my favourite items of the evening. While the slider was one of my favourites, the egg roll that followed was not. Alone the roll is quite bland and is really nothing special. The flavour comes entirely from the dipping sauce. In a way this is good because it prevents the dish from becoming overseasoned, but in another, it makes it flat and two-dimensional. As this dish uses the egg roll wrapper, it’s heavy and very filling.

By the time we had finished these, I wasn’t sure if I could eat more, but I really wanted a dessert. So we decided on the dessert sampler. It consisted of four dessert shots and three raspberry chocolate truffle pops. In my experience, dessert shots are fairly small (like you could eat the whole thing in one bite), but these ones turned out to be bigger than I expected. The four desserts were an oreo mousse, mascarpone mint, rocky road, and apple cinnamon cheesecake. As always, I prefer the mousse. Especially as a dessert because it’s light and perfect after a meal as heavy as the one we had. The cheesecake is always the hardest for me to eat because of its richness and this particular one had an overload of cinnamon. While it was good, I couldn’t eat more than a bite (I ended up eating more of it, but I was kinda just nibbling at it). The rocky road was overly sweet and I’ve never been much of a sweet person so this was just too much for me (caramel, thick ganache like chocolate, marshmallows) and I just don’t like mint in desserts or as a tea, so that was just terrible for me. Plus it just tasted like a mint cheesecake because of the mascarpone. Chocolate and raspberries are a classic, so the raspberry chocolate truffle pops were exactly as I expected with one exception: nibbling is probably not the best way to eat it because the crunchy/hard chocolate exterior has a tendency to break and fall apart all over you, so you may have to shove the whole thing into your mouth. And if you do and you’re mouth is anything like mine, by the time you get it to fit in your mouth you can’t close it or chew it.

I never realized how oily everything we ate was until after when I had to clear my throat every few minutes just to be able to talk. Since neither of us had any drinks tonight, the bill came to a decent price. Our waiter was kind and attentive and made sure we had everything we needed during the meal. I also appreciated that each time he came by when I didn’t have food in my mouth so I could answer. I would definitely love to come back, but next time I think I’ll go for the small plates just to see if they’re a little smaller and therefore are able to have a greater variety of items off the menu. And while I’m on that note, maybe I should bring more people. For tonight, I’d rate it 3.75/5.

tango restaurant interior

Restaurant Interior


Tuna Tataki


Hibachi Steak Poutine


Chorizo Sliders


Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls

dessert shots

Dessert Shots with Raspberry Chocolate Truffle

Restaurant Review: Ox and Angela

Location: 528 17th Ave SW (Beltline)

After months of not getting out due to studying, work, and whatever other excuses I came up with, I finally got a girls’ night out. I hadn’t seen either of these ladies for a very long time and we had so much catching up to do. This was my second time at a tapas bar and even now, I still can’t get over how expensive tapas bars can be. On the one hand, portion sizes are small, so that you can try out everything, but on the other hand, they are so expensive that my wallet literally cries because I’m only a poor student…sorta student…

With tapas I never know how much to order, so it’s always a good idea to start with a few dishes and hold onto the menu and order more if necessary. We started with four dishes: fried artichoke, fried goat cheese, fresh zucchini ribbon salad, a pan roasted duck breast, and an albacore tuna. Now, typically I’m not a fan of artichokes, in particular, pickled artichoke hearts, but deep fried anything is delicious. The fried artichoke was served in a small bowl atop a quince aioli and lemon. The lemon was virtually undetectable and very little of the quince flavour came through in the creaminess of the aioli. For those who don’t know, quince is a pear-like fruit that has a slightly tart taste, often added to fried dishes to counterbalance the greasiness. As an aioli, I felt that it added to the greasiness and the tartness was neutralized by the mayonnaise-like qualities of aiolis. But the artichokes were slightly seasoned and went well with the aioli. This dish makes me like artichokes a little more than I used to. With the fried goat cheese we were given the choice of being served the dish on its own or having bread with it. We chose to have it as it. I don’t know if you’ve ever had deep fried cheese of any kind, but I have to say, deep fried goat cheese is so amazing! Like the fried artichokes, the cheese was served with sauces and garnishes made to counterbalance the richness of the cheese. My first impression of the dish when it came out was that it looked like a giant croquette. The blood orange and date sauce was a beautiful crimson. There was just enough that you could taste a bit of the tartness (again to counter the grease, I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say that), but not so much that it overpowered the dish or drenched the cheese. The candied walnuts on top added the final touch of perfection. Actually candied anything is delicious. It would have been nice to have it with a slice of baguette or on a crostini, but it’s still fantastic on its own. The next dish to come out was the zucchini ribbon salad. I expected it to be a bit more than it actually was. With lemon and mint, I just expected it to be a fresher tasting salad than it was. It would have been nice if the zucchini had been pickled prior to its addition to the salad. The manchego cheese didn’t really taste of much and neither added nor detracted from the salad; it was kinda just there. The pan roasted duck breast, the most expensive dish of the night at $18. It was by far my favourite. Duck is a typically rich, dark meat, so I wasn’t surprised that it would again be paired with something tart: oranges. The duck was cooked and seasoned beautifully, the centre still being slightly pinkish red. Unfortunately the picture I took was a bit shaky and out of focus and does not do this magnificent dish justice. The last dish was the albacore tuna…and I don’t handle raw fish too well, but tonight I decided to just go for it. It was seared along the edges and served on top of a lemon aioli, sprinkled with fried capers and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes. The citrus aiolis here really don’t work at all. I could not taste the lemon and honestly felt like I was just putting a lot of cream onto my tuna. The tomato and capers did nothing to compliment the tuna at all. Frying capers pretty much destroyed it’s inherently weird, but complementary-to-raw-fish taste. The tuna itself was superb, but I don’t think I could eat it again.

By this point we were getting to be pretty full, but we felt that we could order just a tad bit more. So for our second round we ordered a croquetta and a Mediterranean salad. Due to all the deep fried rich foods we had eaten in the previous round, I started to sound like a frog…then it was a choking, hacking, dying frog…thank goodness I was ignored for that part of the conversation…quite frankly, it was gross. The croquetta was a salt cod and potato croquetta served with some sort of aioli and chili sauce. I was excited to try this one because I really love spicy foods, but nope. I tasted nothing but creamy aioli and the actual croquetta? That was like a mouthful of salt. After all, it was salt cod, so what was I supposed to be expecting? I think it would have been nice with a small glass of some kind of beer, but I know nothing about alcohol and how it complements a meal. But I can’t complain about how nice and crunchy the croquetta was. At one point I expressed my concern that I was afraid that I was going to send it flying off my plate and into the face of the lady at the table next to us. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. The Mediterranean salad was kinda weird to me. It had local tomatoes & cucumbers, roasted onion, goat feta, crispy chorizo, and a kale salsa verde. Like the zucchini ribbon salad, I expected it to be a bit more tart, which it wasn’t. The kale salsa verde was something new and I felt that it just didn’t work. The goat feta would have provided a good contrast if there was any tartness to the dish. And the crispy chorizo…that lived up to its name. Very crunchy…

Lastly, for dessert we shared a basque cake. I have a weakness for anything almond, so this was a must. For a tapas bar I should have expected something small, but somehow I hoped it would be larger, it wasn’t. This basque cake sliver had chunks of fruit in it, I’m not quite sure what kind it was, but I want to say rehydrated apricots and was lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar. I loved the top and bottom of the cake because it tasted like caramelized sugar. The cake itself wasn’t too sweet, which I liked, but the chunks of fruit didn’t seem to fit.

For the sizes of the dishes I never expected to be full, but I was. It’s funny how something so small can fill you up so much. The staff were friendly enough and you never had to worry about your glass being empty; there was always a waiter or waitress close enough to top up your drink at all times. The place can get a bit noisy, but it’s all part of the atmosphere, so if you don’t mind then it’s great. There were times we were yelling, but I’m always yelling so I didn’t feel like I was out of place. Earlier in the evening it was a bit quieter and I sounded like I was talking way too loud. However I couldn’t believe how much our bill was at the end of the night. We had ordered a total of eight items (and my friends ordered a couple beers) and our bill came to around $110.

I would definitely recommend going to a tapas bar just to try it out, but keep in mind that if you’re looking for a cheap meal, this is not the place to go. This place in particular can get really busy really fast, so if you plan on going, I would recommend making a reservation. For me, this place was underwhelming and I expected a lot more from the dishes, particularly, for some sort of contrast and complement within the dishes. The service was good and all, but it is the food that speaks for the establishment. Based on everything, I would have to rate this place a 3.25/5. However, if I were to go back I would like to try the Spanish Table or Paella.

Ox and Angela Interior

Ox and Angela Interior

Fried Goat Cheese

Fried Goat Cheese

Fried Artichokes

Fried Artichokes

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Albacore Tuna

Albacore Tuna

Duck Breast

Duck Breast



Mediterranean Salad

Mediterranean Salad

Basque Cake

Basque Cake

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