La Tasca

Last week my friend Kyle called me and asked about my weekend plans. I didn’t have too much going on – some exciting laundry, a trip to Annapolis and football on Sunday. He told me flights were looking pretty cheap from Boston and decided to make a last minute trip down to Silver Spring.

Kyle is one of my great friends from back home and we always enjoy going out for dinner. I didn’t have any specific new restaurants in mind, but I knew I wanted to head down towards Gallery Place. I started to think of some of the restaurants I had walked past down that way and I decided that tapas would be a great idea for us before heading out to some local bars so I decided on La Tasca, a DMV tapas chain that I had never tried.

I made a reservation for 8:30 and we showed up a little early. It was very cool since there was live music playing at the front of the restaurant, but the not-so-cool thing was that the waitress tried to stick us behind the band. I didn’t think that would make for great conversation so we asked to be moved and were then seated towards the back of the restaurant which was perfect. Kyle and I discussed the decor and thought that it was very busy and all over the place, but it was still a warm and fun atmosphere which is exactly what I was looking for.

We started with the Degustacion de Acietes, a trio sampler of extra virgin olive oils: fresh dried herbs, black olive tapenade and spicy mushroom, served with rustic bread, and a bottle of red wine, Sangre del Toro. The wine came with this awesome bull mascot on, who we nicknamed Tori and carried around with us for the rest of the evening. The bread and oils were very tasty, but I was definitely disappointed with the amount of bread that came with the appetizer (4 slices). It definitely left us with a lot of oil leftover which just went to waste.

We then decided to each pick a couple of tapas, consult and make a final decisions. I picked faster than Kyle did so I had most of the say but he agreed with my choices so that’s OK. We ordered:

Tortilla Espanola: traditional Spanish potato, onion and egg omelet
Solomillo de Buey: grilled beef tenderloin, served with red skin mashed potatoes and crumbled Cabrales cheese
Pequillos Rellenos de Marisco: Piquillo peppers stuffed with shrimp and scallops, served over a tomato lobster cream sauce
Then we got some special which I don’t know the name but it was marinated beets, diced up, served with goat cheese on top (and I’m sure they were in some sort of sauce that I won’t be able to get right).

Omelet and Stuffed Peppers

I thought that everything was really tasty! The beef tenderloin was definitely the best thing that we had. It was a larger tapas plate and came with a decently sized piece of meat and the potatoes were yummmmmmy – full of lots of flavor and complimented the meat nicely.

I couldn't seem to get a good picture of this for the life of me

Kyle doesn’t eat seafood so the stuffed peppers were all mine. These were recommended by the waiter, and they were a good choice. I thought they were very rich in flavor and not too seafoody.

As far as the beets were concerned, they were just OK. They were cut way too small so it was frustrating, as we got down to the bottom, to get them on our forks. Also, if you didn’t get some cheese on the scoop with the beets, I think they were a little bland.

The menu definitely has a lot to offer here and I was excited to get to try it. I would keep rotating out some of the tapas that I got this time in order to try some new ones, but overall, I had a great experience. Service was very good – our waiter was very patient as we took some time to browse while catching up with each other. Atmosphere was perfect – definitely a great spot to go with friends. We really enjoyed ourselves, had a nice dinner, and we were in a prime location for going out afterwards, so it was a winning situation all around.

Kyle with Tori

La Tasca on Urbanspoon

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