109 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Pintxo Bar Santa Monica Reviews
(very) small tapas place, great jamon iberico Mar 07, 2008
this cozy (read very small) tapas place right off ocean blvd in santa monica has a great warm atmosphere. it could be that the place is so small that the heat from the kitchen -- which is open -- pretty much brings up the temperature.
the walls are adorned with wine bottles from spain (and not the crappy ones you usually get at whatever tapas bars that seem to crop up all over the city). there is a bar, which is where you want to sit, where you get to watch the chefs prepare the tapas and look at the ham from which they freshly cut pieces. there are probably 4 small tables and that is it. oh, and they don't take reservations.
for two people, we only tried two things and a bottle (yes, a bottle) of wine.
1. jamon iberico - this was a bit expensive at $18 but it was all worth it. the ham was so creamy it was sinful. the bread was also soft and crunchy at the same time and lightly buttered (or at least tasted lightly buttered).
2. chorizo and quail egg - this was $4 for one piece. the chorizo was good and nicely topped with fried quail egg. i did enjoy it although the jamon iberico was definitely a stand out.
3. ostatu crianza - this nice bottle from the rioja reion of spain was delicious. it was subtle and light.
i know it is a pain to have to wait for a table or a seat at the bar. but if you time yourself, you can get lucky. so go for it!
went back and had more food:
i really liked the foie. the tomatoes with white asparagus were ok. the bacon-wrapped dates were tasty. the tuna with anchovies were mediocre. i also really liked the croquetas - good texture. i still liked the jamon iberico. and i still enjoyed that bottle of ostatu.
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A taste of northern spain Sep 27, 2008
This little wine bar near third street promenade in Santa Monica always reminds me of my trip to Basque country in spain, where time slows down and a casual snack can become an event with family and friends. The place is pretty small and I don't believe they take reservations, but I usually go early or late so I avoid the crowds. The tapas and wines overall are quite good. Standouts for me are the Ostatu (sp?) rioja, the spanish tortilla (although they appear to have changed the recipe) and the pot au chocolat (soooo good). Mostly I just enjoy my time here, where you can leave your cares outside.