Lounges >Pintxo Bar
109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.014525 -118.497507
Daily, noon - midnight
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West LA
Best tapas in town – This is my new favorite place in town. A friend and I go weekly for sangria and the croquettas. Seriously, I dream about the croquettas. The flavors are wonderful and the service is friendly. Ask the waitress what her favorite dishes are on the menu to help you out on your first visit. Can be pricey as you'll want to try every dish.
A nice, tasty deviation from the norm. But only once in awhile due to the price – Some coworkers and I went there this past Tues. night. I'd passed by on many occasions and have been meaning to go in for quite some time. Anyways it was a tapas place so I was semi prepared mentally to pay a lot for not a lot of food. My only reservation, which was why it probably took me so long to go, was whether or not the food would be good. Here in LA, great reviews of horrible tasting food are a dime a dozen. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that the food wasn't bad, not bad at all. We had multiples usually of everything we ordered. the best ones we had were: the bacon wrapped dates stuffed with cheese, the ham with leeks, dungeness crab wrapped with salmon, the jamon 18 month aged plate, as well as 3 other versions of 24 month aged ham/jamon. Probably the tastiest were the different variations of the ham servings. We also had 2 bottles of the Prima red wine. Nice and full bodied without being overpowering or ruining the taste of the food. We also had 2 other non noteworthy wines
Now on to the negatives. First and foremost they have some of the most uncomfortable wooden stools ever! The edge of the stool cut into the back of my thighs so much that I still have pain/bruises there 4 days later. i didn't think I was a fatty but maybe I am?! Service was a little slow, especially considering the dining room was 15ft by 12ft. I would agree with the previous reviewer concerning the serving of bread with the tapas. The bread seemed to take away from the flavor and was a head scratcher for most everyone. And of course, even though I know it's supposed to be small plates, it's tapas! Don't go hungry, or else you'll spend a lot of money. Those 4-9 dollar plates will definitely start adding up really quickly: for 6 of us the total came out to over $450.
Great tapas, good service! – I'm surprised to read so many bad reviews here. I went last Friday with my boyfriend and we had a great experience. We walked in at the right time and got 2 seats at the bar right away. The place was packed and atmosphere was very nice. We sat in front of the pig leg, which was weird for a minute, but then I got over it...after all, that really is how they display meats in Spain! As for the person who said it was sneezing distance...well then just don't sneeze on it and it will be fine! Anyway, our server was great, fast and very knowledgeable. The owner Joe was behind the bar helping and was very friendly. We got several things... The dates wrapped in bacon with the cabralas cheese was very good as was the croquetas de pollo (fried, creamy and fattening, but very good!) along with a variety of other things. I will definitely go back!
If this is good tapas, I rather be gored by the bul. – My wife and I have been hooked on tapas since our trip to Spain in 97. But a good unpretentious tapas place in LA is hard to come by. We went to this place when it was first reviewed by LA Time and was giving flying colors. Now, maybe some one can clear this up for me. In Madrid and Andalucia, I never encountered tapas on top of the bread. I just returned from Barcelona, since the last time I was there, there were non of this open sandwich thing, But it seemed to be everywhere now. My feeling is maybe food prices start to climb once Spain is on par with the rest of the European Union, they started adding the bread to make the customers feel fuller? Supposedly this is the style that inspired the chef at Bar Pintxo. Anyway, on my visit, we arrived at the restaurant and was told we only had 40 min. to eat since they were hosting a private event. No problem for us, it's tapas, right? Seated at the bar. At that time, to appear authentic, they wrote the menu in Espa?ol. Sure, I speak some Castellano, and ordered them in Spanish. It was a joke. Our order of olive (acentuna or olivas, depending on which part of Spain you are in) became open face canned tuna sandwich. Or order of Jamon Ibirico plate was two skimpy strips of Jamon on bread. Frankly, I can do better and more authentic tapas at home. The waitress kept rushing us, eventhough we were eventually out of the place 10 min before their private event. The whole time we were sitting there, the three chefs behind the counter did not once greet us, or even looked us in the eyes!
A few weeks later, I was at the Spanish Market "La Espa?ola", I told the se?ora my disappointment with the place, she seems to like Joe the owner quite a bit and was defending him. I actually had tapas at Joe's Venice joint. It is much better, in my opinion. But to have authentic tapas in LA. Unfortunately, you have to drive to Claremont. Also, my last review on this place was rejected by Citysearch 3 times.....
They Serve Foie Gras: And They Should Stop – I'm a local Venice/Santa Monica resident and at first I liked Bar Pinxto. Until I noticed that they serve Foie Gras, which is a 'delicacy' created by torturing geese by force feeding them with a medal feeding tube that causes regurgitation, painful lacerations, organ failure, lung failure, and sometimes the explosion of internal organs. These birds are kept heavily confined, force feed, and die long painful deaths. As a local resident I know that many residents would never support such an awful practice if they knew more about it. Bar Pinxto should follow in the footsteps of Wolfgang Puck and refuse to serve it. I am so very disappointed that a new small restaurant would support this practice, and I will not recommend the place to anyone until they take it off their menus. I'm not against meat being served, but i am against this very excessive torture of animals just so their livers are a bit more fatty for peoples momentary enjoyment. Bar Pinxto take this off your menu!
I wish I had read about it before commiting to it... – I will have to get back to you all and let you know how it goes tonight. I am invited to a dinner there for a women's wine group and I hope it is better than I have read. I'll let you know later. I gave it an average rating since I have not been there yet. We will see how it goes. Wish me luck!
Not worth the stop, keep walking. – I've walked by this place several times, so last night my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. Considering it was a Saturday night it wasn't very crowded, now we know why. We got a seat at their "sushi bar" and had a slab of meat sitting in front of us, and an egg dish sitting out on an open platter. To our disgust, the chef was actually using this food that was within sneezing distance of us to serve other people. The place is really small, and not worth the wait. We had sangria which was merely watered down red wine with a slice of orange in it and served in a shot glass. What the food lacked in flavor, they made up for in salt. The tomato stuffed with tuna tasted like tunafish from a can. I don't have any thing positive to say about this place and will never return.
Best Tapas in Town – For the reviews that are posted with low ratings, must have been in the wrong restaurant. This place is wonderful. The food and ingredients are fresh and fantastic. The choices of wine are delectable and the pairing with the food is hard to beat. Go to this place to have a fun and enjoy a nice evening with friends and maybe even meet some new ones.
so terrible, i created an account to review it – I love tapas bars and was super excited to check this place out. Walking in, I was immediately turned off by the seating. The tables are crammed up against each other and the stools look like converted step ladders. We ordered a few items and were very excited in particular by Dungeness Crab Wrapped in Smoked Salmon. The ?tapas? came out and most were globs of unappetizing pastes atop stale French bread, served just cooler than room temp. The Dungeness crab was packed with what looked like white worms coming out of it. Before even attempting to eat it, I asked the server what it was and she said they call them ?baby eel? but they are basically just white filler fish. Disgusting! My dinner partner was able to force down one bacon wrapped fig and I attempted to eat the radish and avocado salad (coarsely cut radish, jicima and avocado skewered on a tooth pick, drowning in lime juice) but the flavors did not combine well and I couldn?t finish more than a bite. I also attempted to eat their cod and potato creation but it was so salty that I instantly had to jug water. We politely told our server the food was not what we expected and asked her to clear it from our table, most of it untouched. She then brought us the bill and had not comped us a single thing. We had to ask the manager to at least remove our two orders of crab which were gross enough to make us loose our appetites for the rest of the night. On the walk out we noticed that all of the food is premade and sits in a sushi cooler. Overall, it was the most awful restaurant experience of my life. The wine was good and cheap, earning them the single star.
do not go to this restaurant! – My boyfriend and I were really excited to check out this new spot. We called ahead to make a reservation, and were told by the hostess that they don't take them, but the wait would be no longer than 15-20 minutes. We arrived at 7:45pm, and it was completely packed with 3 parties already waiting. Again, the hostess said not to worry, it would not be a long wait. It is a very small space, so we were literally elbow to elbow with the other people waiting. No one ever approached us to offer a glass of wine while we were waiting, and the servers looked completely frantic and overwhelmed so we couldn't get anyone's attention.. We finally got seated at 9pm, not at a table, but at a counter in the back of the restaurant, facing a wall. We almost left at that point, but decided to stick it out. It took another 15 minutes for a waitress to approach us. We were starving by then and ordered several delicious sounding tapas. Well, that did not work out for us either, as the food was completely disgusting!! Seriously, it was shockingly bad. We didn't finish our meal, and the wine was unimpressive too! I wish I could say that there was at least one saving grace to this restaurant, but there wasn't . Do not subject yourself to this dismal service, even more dismal food and crappy wine.
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