We could see how paella wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea–or rather briny mix of squid, octopus and dry rice. If you do enjoy our chewy friends from the sea, then this Spanish dish might just be your thing. But let’s start from the beginning with our little friends, tapas. Tapas, for those who don’t know, are kind of like meals in miniature. For some reason tapas are trendy, despite their eerie similarity to something we used to call appetizers. These are actually La Paella’s strong suit in our opinion, despite the namesake. We had the miniature meatballs, some fried calamari, and something else that was perfectly complimented by a cold beer or pitcher of Sangria (which always seems to induce a lot of vomiting when consumed in large quantities). We decided to go with the seafood paella (and not the pork infested bonanza), which seemed a bit dry and lacking punch. Granted, this is the only place we’ve ever eaten paella, but it seems like there should be just a bit more moisture going on here. There could also be a few more squid rings and shrimp in the sea of rice. The space itself is lit mostly with candles, and is decorated in a rustic Spanish style. Unfortunately, the low ceilings and hard surfaces make the place almost deafening, and the table of drunks with their five pitchers of sangria are practically in your lap, but the atmosphere is celebratory and fun, so it’s cool with us. [MF]
214 E 9th St.