Sunday, December 18, 2005

Eating: La Turuleta

Ever since it opened several months ago, I have avoided La Turuleta. I have done so despite that fact that it is right downstairs, because, well, it is right downstairs. On a street that is positively awash in bars and restaurants—so awash that the tides can be hard to part on certain warm summer nights—the last thing we needed was another one. In fact, there was a minor building-wide rebellion when it became clear that another bar was going in. The president of our comunidad went so far as to file a complaint with city hall, on the reasonable grounds that the space is not zoned for hostelry. Reasonable, but unpersuasive. The bar went in, no doubt illegally, and is now doing a thriving business in tapas.

So in protest, I resisted going there. Until the other day, when it came time for lunch and none of the other neighborhood menus del día seemed very appealing. So much for political commitment (though in my defense I will say that they did a remarkably fine job of soundproofing).

I'm glad I caved, and then caved again. In the two lunches I've had there in as many weeks, I've had a beautiful shellfish soup— bright yellow, slightly viscous, and stocked with squid, shrimp, and mussels; a tasty-if-a-bit-too-soupy rice with fresh artichokes; a classic potaje made with cod and chickpeas; and a very delicious, Asian-y chicken and vegetable stirfry. And a cream cheese brownie for dessert (twice).

LA TURULETA: Almendro, 25. Tel.: 91 364 26 66.

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