Tertulia

Tertulia

TertuliaThere is nothing I hate more on this green earth than egg salad. This hatred generally extends to any kind of hard-boiled egg, including the dreaded deviled egg. So what do I see come out of the kitchen at my buddy’s pre-fixed birthday dinner? You guessed it: the sulfur demon itself. And I ended up eating not one, but two of the suckers! Because that’s not only how damn hungry I was, but also a testament of how much I loved the endless piles of food shoveled in front of me throughout the evening. There was a decent-sized group of us taking up most of the back of the rustic, open-kitchened space. The surroundings, warm and inviting, just said, “come eat our food and leave with a full-ass belly.” And that we all did. I’m not certain how much this soiree cost our hostess, but our understanding was that it was pretty reasonable for our large party, who literally gorged themselves on a menu so large I’m not even certain I have room on this site to house it. But here is what I believe I ate that evening (in no particular order):

1. Bocata with marinated mushrooms, smoked ricotta, pine nuts, pickled shallots
2. Pimientos de Padron – Fried shishito peppers w. sea salt
3. Octopus with lemon rice
4. Pan con tomato – toasted bread rubbed w/ tomato
5. A pile of some sort of Ham (which I actually didn’t eat)
6. Some kind of lamb dish that I also didn’t eat.
7. Crispy/creamy octopus balls
8. Deviled eggs with crème fresh
9. Brandada de Becalao – Salt-cod brandade, baked egg, roasted peppers
10. Ensalada de Rabanos – Radish salad, baby rainbow carrots, anchovy vinaigrette, mahone cheese
11. Nuestras Patatas – crispy potatoes, Pimenton de la Vera, garlic aioli oil
12. Paella del Huerto – paella of bomba rice, pasture raised chicken, spring veggies
13. Crema Catalana – Burnt sugar custard
14. Torrija Carmelizada – caramelized “Spanish toast” w/ hazelnut ice cream
15. Tarta de Chocolate – dark chocolate & coffee ganache, almond crust, sea salt

And then my guts burst open and the waiter slithered all over them and fell on his head and sued my parents for all their money and my dad tied bricks around his ankles and threw himself into the Los Angeles river. As luck would have it, the river had no water in it — as usual. And that’s not at all a real story. In fact while everyone was leaning back unbuckling their belts, I was sitting there scooping more paella and its brilliantly crispy rice into my gob. I ate like I was angry at the food, just devastating the stuff and enjoying every damn bite. It was really one of the more impressive party menus I’ve ever experienced. I swear we started chuckling around dish eight or nine and things got really raucous when we moved into the double digits. I will keep this joint in mind should I ever gather more than five people who would show up for me at one time and impress them with my panache. [MF]


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