Tuesday, April 24, 2007
46 E Colorado Blvd
Bar Celona is a tapas bar, that also serves sushi, in Old Town Pasadena. I'm not a big fan of a place that trys to do something other than what they are known for. Tapas and sushi?
The first picture is the yellowtail sushi, $5.50. It's ok, nothing special, though one of the bigger yellowtail sushi I've had. It was fairly fresh but nothing outstanding.
Jackpot roll, $7.95, has shrimp tempura and tuna. But again it's nothing special but it's a big portion.
Now onto what they are known for, tapas.
Veriras con salsa de Maiz dulce, $10. Pan seared scallops with sweet corn sauce and mushrooms and jamon serrano salad. This was a great tapa. The scallops were nice and fresh, and tasty. The searing was gave it a nice outside. The sweet corn sauce added a nice flavor to the scallops. I can't really describe or compare the flavor.
Albondigas en Salsa de Champinones, $7. Beef and pork meatballs in a Spanish Rioka wine-mushroom sauce. The meatballs were too dry and lacked any flavor. You can get better meatballs from a can of Chef Boyardee.
Croquettas de Cangre o, $9, crab and potato croquette breaded and fried with red mojo. This should be renamed the potato croquette. That's what this was. There wasn't a lot of crab, mostly potato. Not worth the $9 price tag.
Gambas al A illo, $7. Black tiger shrimp sauteed in garlic and red pepper flakes. The tiger shrimp was well worth the price. It was big, full of flavor and very tender. What a treat and for $7 a great steal.
Service is OK here. One time my girlfriend and I went to here, sat down and nobody came to our table for about ten minutes. We walked out. This was later at night when this place turns into a more club like atmosphere. But we went back and the service was OK. Our server was helpful, explaining the tapas and how big the portions are. But she was slow in refilling drinks, she never asked if we wanted other orders, we called her over and ordered the crab cakes. The place wasn't busy, so I'm guessing she's just really slow or talking to other people working at the restaurant.
This is a hit and miss type of place. Some of the tapas are great. Other tapas are terrible. I would stay away from the sushi. I would go back and just order the tiger shrimp and the scallops. I would not try anything else or give the crab cakes or meatballs another try.