Saturday, February 16, 2008

Post #88 - Costa Brava, Pacific Beach

For Valentine's dinner, we went to Costa Brava in Pacific Beach, but not on Valentine's Day - we figured out a couple years ago that we got better food and better service a day or two before or after "the Day".

We ordered from the tapas menu:

Garlic Soup with Poached Egg:
I was expecting creamy caramelized roasted garlic blended into the soup, but we got barely simmered minced garlic sitting in the bottom of the bowl. The croutons were good, the poached egg was beautiful, but that's about all I want to say.

Patatas a la Brava:
Billed as spicy, they really weren't, but they were crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and tossed with a smoked-paprika aiolli. Very good. Definitely not health food.

Rabas:
Fried calamari - perfectly tender, light crispy batter. Squirt on a little lemon juice, black pepper, and dip in the aiolli from the patatas.

Tigres:
"Spicy breaded mussels", according to the menu. Again, not spicy. They looked battered more than breaded, and we certainly weren't expecting the "breading" to cover not only the mussel meat, but the entire half-shell. From the looks of it, it was deep fried after batter-dipping, then covered with a tomato sauce with bell peppers and celery. Too much saucy stuff on top, but overall, a very good dish.

Dátiles con Tocino:
Bacon-wrapped dates. This was our dessert course, and up until this point, we were thinking we wouldn't make a return trip. Date, wrap in bacon, stick with toothpick, bake until bacon is crispy. Serve on a plate with apricot and raspberry sauces. Sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy. Heaven. Yes, we will return.

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