Bar Pintxo – Santa Monica

Joe Miller of Joe’s restaurant in Venice has opened Bar Pintxo just one block from the ocean. Don’t expect tapas that you would find in San Sebastian – it is an Americanized version of tapas. Bar Pintxo is a very small space with a bar and stools facing the open kitchen and a few high tables in back. I must say that the stools are very uncomfortable; this is not meant to be a long evening of fine dining, but rather a “small bite” place. At 4:30, it was packed.

At first we ordered wine/beer by the glass but the glass is a small tumbler that barely holds enough for a real drink.

A bottle of Casamaro Blanco was necessary and John had 5 small tumblers of Stella beer.

Our excellent server – Andee

Starting at 4:00 they have Happy Hour where you can order 6 tapas for $6.00 – a good deal.

1. Fresh Tomato, Garlic, Grilled Bread

2. Chorizo Bilbao, Cherry Tomato

3. Serrano Jamon, Grilled Bread, Oil

4. Huevos Rellenos con Vinagreta Vasca

5. Crimini Mushroom, Mushroom Mousse, Manchego

6. Tomato Conserve and Manchego

Our favorites were the egg (like a deviled egg), the mushroom and the chorizo

Gambas al ajillo – maya head-on shrimp, garlic, lemon parsley – quite good

Croquetas de pollo y jamon, fried bechamel, caramelized onions, chicken, jamon serrano

The inside filling of the croquetas – basically tasteless and mushy

Tortilla espanola, egg, potatoes, caramelized onions – this was OK, but basically too many potatoes to the ratio of eggs

Tacos Castellanos, on the left lamb with mojo verde and on the right pulled pork with Ximinez BBQ – both were excellent with a nod towards the lamb.

A fun casual place with decent food

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