Tinto Tapas Espana, Alen Lin, 9/1/07
What's a Spaniard to do when he wants real authentic tapas in LA? Be like the Juans Sola Jr. and Sr. and open his own tapas restaurant. Thus, we have Tinto Tapas Espana, which at least feels more authentic than others in town. The brick walls look weathered, the bartender says he's from Barcelona, and the chef's from Spain---Justo Vincent who, among other places, worked with Ferran Adria at El Bulli. The menu was brief in the beginning with many of what you'd expect: olives, chorizo, marcona almonds, garlic shrimp, paella. We've never been to Spain, but unique dishes like fish terrine or cold marinated rabbit on shaved endive sounds authentic to us. Once everything gets rolling, expect more than 30 tapas items plus entrees. To drink, red and white sangria (or pink, if you ask nicely) and an all-Spanish wine list, with some very nice inexpensive roses that are perfect for the dog days of summer. The bar works for walk-ins, but we're told it's been packed since day one. There's an odd table down an outdoor patio-hallway in the back for drinks. We expect Tinto to make the "before 6pm and after 10pm" list soon; then again, it's open until 1am on the weekends, so this might be a spot that gets going late.
The bar, Alen Lin, 9/1/07
More dining room, Alen Lin, 9/1/07