Happy Hour Tapas at Tasca

Seems like everyone has jumped on the tapas bandwagon nowadays, or to be more precise, “small plates.” You can’t call something tapas just because it’s a small serving, served on an equally small plate. The term tapas is used too loosely in the Americas. It often lacks the authenticity of the country that inspired it.

The term tapas originally comes from Spain and is generally served as a quick meal at lunch time, or served with wine and sangria for a late dinner. I could probably live off of olives, meats, cheeses, and wine alone. There are just a handful of good places in town to pick up some decent and authentic tapas. One of my favorites is Tasca on 3rd St, right down the street from the Farmer’s Market.

Tasca on 3rd St (@ Crescent Heights)

Tasca on 3rd St (@ Crescent Heights)

A selection of spanish and other wines from around the world.

A selection of spanish and other wines from around the world.

Once inside, off the hustle and bustle of the busy intersection of 3rd and Crescent Heights, you could be deep inside the Gothic District of Barcelona, inside one of your favorite neighborhood bars. Tasca is rustic and quaint, welcoming you up to the bar with aromas of wine, deep fried croquets, jamon, manchengo and quince plates.

We got here early to enjoy some tapas during their happy hour, for which they serve smaller portions of their tapas for less than half the price of their normal menu till 7:30pm every night, or all night on Sundays and Mondays. Talk about recession busters, these tapas run from only $2.50 to $5 per. They also feature a few beer, sangria and wine specials for around 5 bucks. It’s a great place to slow down life a little and enjoy a few small bites and drinks with friends on the cheap.

Burrata y Jamon Serrano, melted burrata cheese served on bread topped with jamon serrano and a sage leaf.

Burrata y Jamon Serrano, melted burrata cheese served on bread topped with jamon serrano and a sage leaf.

Pinxto de Carne y Pancetta, beef tenderloin with a plump piece of bacon and small roasted tomato.

Pinxto de Carne y Pancetta, beef tenderloin with a plump piece of bacon and small roasted tomato.

Bunuelo de Bacolo, a salted cod croquette with romesco sauce

Bunuelo de Bacolo, a salted cod croquette with romesco sauce

Their happy hour menu contains Spanish traditional tapas like Bunuelo de Bacalo, a salted cod croquette with romesco sauce or Gambas Al Ajillo, fresh shrimp served in a deep orange colored garlic sauce. The calamari, are massive, plump rings, lightly fried and served with a spicy remoulade. The Tortilla Espanola, a favorite from our trip to Spain, is delightfully authentic as they come. Not on the happy hour menu, but worth the diversion, is the Arancini. A deep fried ball of gorgeous risotto,wild mushrooms, and infused with just a dash of truffle oil.

Gambas all Ajillo, sauteed shrimp with a roasted garlic sauce.

Gambas all Ajillo, sauteed shrimp with a roasted garlic sauce.

Calamari Fritos, plump rings of fresh calamari, lightly fried served with garlic aioli

Calamari Fritos, plump rings of fresh calamari, lightly fried served with garlic aioli.

Tortilla Espanola, potatoes, eggs, onions, with Spanish sausage, living together magnificently as one.

Tortilla Espanola, potatoes, eggs, onions, with Spanish sausage, living together magnificently as one.

CAPTION

Next to the shrimp (Gambas) is a single Arancini, perfectly cooked risotto, wild mushrooms and just a dash of truffle oil, topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.

There is no way to go through the entire menu in one sitting, which sort of defeats the purpose of tapas anyway. But no matter, you will want to come back again and again just to try all the different tapas. They’ve got a few larger plates as well for those of you who don’t like to share. The full menu can be seen here. Follow their new Twitter account here.

Tasca on Urbanspoon

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Author:Matt Mitchell

A lover of everything LA has to offer, Matt created Dig Lounge to tell his friends about all the fun things to do in the city. Matt has worked in the dot com world since 1996, including some of the top online entertainment companies and digital marketing firms. He currently works as a Digital Producer.

2 Responses to “Happy Hour Tapas at Tasca”

  1. June 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Thanks for the report, Matt! Definitely will go in and see for myself very soon. Looks absolutely rich and awesome.

  2. July 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    whoa whoa. those look so amazingly good! i love tapas!

    you should definitely submit some of your photos to http://www.donteatthatyet.com. their goal is to create a visual restaurant review site with a template similiar to that of tastespotting