Tag Archives: tapas

Jaleo – Las Vegas

7 Jan

To round out an epic travel year, I spent a few days in early December celebrating my sister’s 30th birthday in Las Vegas. As the token foodie for the group that we travelled with I had suggested dinner at Jaleo, which is a Spanish tapas restaurant brought to us by José Andrés Puerta. José is well-known for his Spanish cooking and tapas. I am personally in awe of him as he spent part of his early career at El Bulli, working under Ferran Adria.

Jaleo is a fun, modern, loud, vibrant restaurant, located in The Cosmopolitan. It is not stuffy and this suited our rowdy group of 10 perfectly. The best thing to do, as with any tapas restaurant, is to order multiple plates and share them. Plates get served as they get cooked, so it is very informal, and the only complaint that I heard all night was that the daily special lamb paella wasn’t on par with the quality of the rest of the dishes.

I personally enjoyed everything that I tasted, but particularly the black noodle paella with squid and shrimp, and the traditional chicken fritters (although I really didn’t like that they were served in a sneaker – there is just something gross about that)Although I didn’t personally try it, a friend who loves seafood highly recommends the butter and sea urchin topped bread (so much so that she wanted me to call it out to you all!).

As I look back over the menu, I am filled with regret that I was unable to sample more of the menu than what I did (albeit it is a huge menu). I realize that I missed out on trying some really interesting sounding dishes, including the famous liquid olives. Gah! Although I’m not planning to return to Vegas any time soon, when I do return I will definitely be returning to Jaleo for another feast.

Foie Gras Toasts

 Pressed sandwich of ibérico ham, manchego cheese, and truffle

 Traditional Chicken Fritters (served in a sneaker…hmmm)

 Batter Fried Shrimp with Caper Mayonnaise and Black Olive Salt

 Seared scallops with romesco sauce

 Slightly spicy chorizo wrapped in crispy potato

 Black noodle paella with squid and shrimp

Jaleo by José Andres on Urbanspoon


The Sardine Can

16 Oct

26 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1E7

T: 604 568 1350

Brief Description: A small, intimate Gastown bar that offers affordable small plates of familiar Spanish tapas.

The owners that gave Vancouverites the well-known neighbourhood restaurants Cafeteria, Pied-a-Terre, and La Buca, have added The Sardine Can to their repertoire. Since my first visit, I have been quite vocal about my love for The Sardine Can and I highly recommend it as a cozy spot to pop into for a few drinks and snacks, or make this your destination and fill up on the affordable tapas that are offered.

The space is cute and cozy – the name being an appropriate description of this tiny bar. An open kitchen allows you to watch as your dishes are prepared and the small details, such as fish wallpaper, are subtle but show that design has been considered. My one complaint is the TV that is nestled high up on the wall – it is just too distracting and it doesn’t suit the intimacy of the place.

(T) Tomato and manchego toasts, and Meatballs cooked in tomato and Rioja. (B) Roasted piquillo peppers stuffed with salt cod, and Smoked sardines on toast.

Gambas al ajillo (spicy garlic prawns) – $10

Patatas bravas (roasted fingerling potatoes, garlic aioli and tomato) -$5

The menu has changed slightly since they first opened but I am assuming that was to weed out the less popular dishes. The menu consists of small plates of tapas, including spicy garlic prawns, smoked ham and melon, chorizo con Jerez (chorizo sausage in sherry), and meatballs cooked in tomato and Rioja. Plates are ridiculously affordable with some at $5 and others at $10. Currently nothing on the menu is over $10. I have tried a lot of the menu and all of the dishes have been delicious, although I would recommend that they ease up on the jam in the bocadillos dish (little grilled sandwiches of ham, cheese and prune jam) as it over-powered the rest of the sandwich.

Bocadillos (little grilled sandwiches of ham, cheese and prune jam) – $10

My personal favourite dishes are the champiñones (mushrooms in sherry cream sauce), the tomato and manchego toasts, the chorizo con Jerez, and the Arroz con pollo (Bomba rice with Moorish spiced chicken). Wines by the glass are quite cheap with prices as low as $6 and $7. Spanish beers, such as Alhambra, are available for $5.50 a bottle.

Chorizo con Jerez (chorizo sausage in sherry) – $10

Champiñones (mushrooms in sherry cream sauce) – $7.50

Arroz con pollo (Bomba rice with Moorish spiced chicken) – $10

If you are visiting solo, perch yourself at the bar and chat with the friendly staff. If you are with a group, please note that they do not take reservations so try to get down there early to get a table, which shouldn’t be difficult as they open at 3pm.

Para picar (olives, spiced almonds, chickpea spread, bread) – $7.50

Terrina de chocolate (chocolate terrine with chili, olive oil, sea salt, toast) – $5.50

Even with prices as cheap as they are, they go one step further and give you a 10% discount if you pay with cash. Can anyone say cheap night out?

Final Thoughts: It’s about time that Vancouver had itself a reliable tapas bar. I mentioned in a previous post that I can’t vouch for the food being traditional (I haven’t sampled a lot of authentic tapas) but regardless, the prices and the quality of food make this a no-brainer. A nice little spot for some cheap eats and drinks without having to sacrifice on quality.

Sardine Can on Urbanspoon

Photo Visit – The Sardine Can – August 2012

31 Aug

26 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1E7

T: 604 568 1350

I already wrote about The Sardine Can this week but after my first visit I developed a bit of a crush on the place so I rushed back for another visit, this time with my sister.

Fishy wallpaper

$6 glasses of red wine

Patatas Bravas – $5

Chorizo sausage cooked in sherry – $10

Tomato and Manchego Toasts – $5

Spicy Garlic Prawns – $10

Many years ago I visited Spain but, as a poor backpacker at the end of a three-month trip, I really had no money to splurge on trips to tapas bars so I can’t speak of the authenticity of the food at The Sardine Can. What I can speak about is that I like it. I am impressed with the prices, which I find quite reasonable, I like the space – intimate but casual, and the food is tasty. The Sardine Can is a place that I can see myself enjoying in the warmth of summer, or snuggled in on a cold winters evening.

First Glance – The Sardine Can – August 2012

29 Aug

26 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1E7

T: 604 568 1350

I have been eager to dine at The Sardine Can since it opened in late May but I have found it difficult to make a visit happen. Well, it finally did happen, my friends. My first visit was on Saturday evening and wow, I could be in love. (I’m holding out on committing to the “l” word until more visits have been had). Seriously, what’s not to love intensly like about drinking some cava and munching on some delicious tapas?

The name, The Sardine Can, is perfectly fitting as the restaurant is intimate, with limited seating. However, this is the intention. It should be seen as a cozy place that you can pop into for a quick drink and light meal before going on your merry way to another restaurant or to bar-hop. I loved all the small touches, such as the bill that came out on a sardine can, and the cute sandwich board out the front, also designed as a sardine can. So damn cute. I’m not all about the design however, and thankfully, the food spoke loud and clear.

Smoked sardines on toast – $5

Roasted piquillo peppers stuffed with salt cod – $10

Tomato and manchego toasts – $5

Meatballs cooked in tomato and Rioja – $10

Chocolate terrine with chili, olive oil, sea salt, toast – $5.50

Not only was the food absolutely delicious (except the stuffed peppers dish which was way too fishy for me), but it was quite affordable. B and I had two drinks each and the food above and it came to $35 each, including tax and tip. I am very keen to return to try more of the menu, such as the spicy garlic prawns, the chorizo sausage cooked in cherry, the plate of Pata Negra and Serrano hams, and the speck wrapped prunes filled with Mahon.

I was so impressed with The Sardine Can that it is likely I will be having dinner again there tonight. That’s the thing with new crushes, you can never get enough.

Sardine Can on Urbanspoon