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Eater Inside: Bar Pintxo

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Alen Lin, 1/25/08

It's easy to see why Joe Miller's Bar Pintxo fills so fast: That's all there is. Just a kitchen, about 30 stools, a few high tables in the back, and voila! An authentic tapas bar with Santa Monica sensibilities. Miller opened at the tail end of December, which allowed some time for his staff to tweak and manuever through the tiny space before the crowds came. And they came, in droves. Waits are long, even in early evening hours when other places might have an opening or two; but it's expected with no reservations. Those stools are rough if there's any longevity to your meal, but that's not the point. The point is to go in, order a few small plates---Cabrales-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, garlic shrimp, spinach with golden raisins and pine nuts---or larger ones, like paella, some vino, eat, chat and move on, because there will be someone giving you the evil eye to give up that seat. A look at the menu, more background here, the LAT and Daily News.

A closer look at the back