Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday's Tapas Night @ Ciudad (Downtown L.A.)

It seemed like everyone reviewed this place for lunch, dinner, and happy hour. My high recommendation is to check out their Tapas Sunday. Remembered the two ladies from The Border Grill that was affectionately known as the "Too Hot Tamales"? These two female chefs (Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger) are here on Sunday from 5pm-9pm preparing the their tapas menu items and Spanish wines pairing for this restaurant.

Going into this place, I was very impressed by the high class deco decor this place set up to be. It is an elegant affair with a bit of some high class touch. Although I would suggest wearing something fancy, but then again I did witnessed a slouch wearing two tees and a jean to get into this place. (he's probably the only one thinking everyone else is out of their elements). This restaurant portrays a very chic and elegant place while keeping their sleek looking bar handy where you enjoyed your drink while waiting for your table.

I do highly suggest you make a reservation for this place on Tapas Sunday as it seemed everyone booked a reservation before 6pm and filled the place by 5:30pm. It does get somewhat crowded before evening dusk. I have heard happy hours during weekday can be madhouse filled with nearby downtown transients.

There are so many interesting choices we can make with our orders for these Latin American savory little dishes. It is a bit of a fusion as it is not set on Spanish tapas. Keep in mind that the Too Hot Tamales does recreated some of these dishes with many recipes and ingredients they would incorporated from their travelings around the world.

I started off the evening by going big with an ordering of a huge glass of Suprema Sangria . Everyone at my table poked fun of me by suggesting that I'm a recovering alcoholic. The glass of sangria was huge, but a very fruity delicious wine.

Yes, it's a fruity drink of Suprema Sangria

We had started ordering some tapas dishes to go along with our sangria and wines. Our first orders were lamb meatballs and Manchego Cheese Buuelos with Serrano Ham, Arugula, and Red Pickled Onions. Those two dishes were quickly devoured before any photos could have been taken, so for now on I had to quickly took some of those photos before the crouching forks and hidden knives could do anymore any damages on any future dishes.

Here are some of the dishes we have ordered:

Grilled Morcilla Sausage on Mini Toasts with Caramelized Onions

Salt Cod Fritters with Orange, Fava, and Fresh Mint Salsa

Boneless Baby Back Ribs slow roasted in Chile, Spices, and Sweet Mistela

Romaine Hearts with Cabrales Vinaigrette, Roasted Peppers, and Plantain Chips

Spinach Empanadas with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Obviously my favorite dishes were the lamb meatballs and the Grilled Morcilla sausages. The plantain chips are a must get to start off any meal. The only thing that was not recommended by several regulars who joined us at our table was the Paella, which is a little surprising.

Majority of these tapas were very light and not too salty. They are very bold in flavors and exhibited very well in terms of execution and presentation at each of the dishes. Some of these tapas are obviously a creation based on the Too Hot Tamales' own imagination on how they would interpret a traditional Spanish tapas. Just like the Mexican street food in Border Grill, they pulled it off very well with tapas at Ciudad.

Plantain Chips

We also ordered some veggie tapas and desserts to go along with all these wonderful items. The Watercress salad was one of those and it was very refreshing in midst of all the savory dishes that came before it.

Watercress Salad

The service was excellent throughout the night and our water was refilled plenty of times. Interestingly, the manager of the place hopped by every table to check on everyone to see how the evening went and to check if everyone was enjoying their meal.

We enjoyed ourselves with these delightful and delicious little tapas dishes.The place also has a good vibes to set up a great mood through the dinner. When the desserts came, it really put a great closer for the night. The chocolate Barcelona cake was very rich decadent sweet that needed me to order a glass of latte to wash that down properly. Our table also wounded up with some Espresso dusted churros and an Apple Tart.

Desserts: Chocolate Barcelona Cake & Espresso Dusted Churros

If that was not enough for a sugar high, they do have some other interesting flan that can do it for you. I never did get to try out the pan seared seafood dishes or the carnitas at their dinner, but with the tapas we got that night, I had a very good idea on how the dinner dishes will turn out.

Apple Tart and Latte

While many people out there will be reviewing and recommended dinner, lunch, or even happy hour for their sangria, I would highly recommend anyone to check out their tapas dinner on Sunday. This will be a great treat in a very affording atmosphere.

445 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 486-5171


Ciudad on Urbanspoon


gourmetpigs said...

How much are the tapas here on Sundays? If they're really cheap then I'll come check em out :P

Oh and, hey, there's absolutely nothing wrong with ordering a sangria. Sangrias are awesome.

Right Way to Eat said...

Hey Burumun,

They are not bad in prices. All those dishes I have mentioned with Sangria and latte added up to $36 for me that night. I shared the tabs with 7 other people.

Obviously, you will order more dishes to try if you get more people to join you.

..and yes! Sangria are awesome.

Unknown said...

All of the food are tempting. They sound scrumptious and healthy too! Always a winner as far as I'm concerned :) Keeps me pushing to the dining.