I haven’t done a restaurant review for a while. Recently, we went to a Spanish restaurant, Taberna Arros y Vi near Santa Monica Pier. That was a pretty unique place, so I thought I would share.
Last weekend, Bryan and I just were in the mood for some tapas. Luckily, I was able to make a reservation for the same day through OpenTable. I am sure most of you know what OpenTable is? If you don’t know, it is a website and an application that let you make real-time reservation for restaurants. With a few clicks, you get a table reserved easily without talking to anyone. The best thing is the more you book through OpenTable, the more points you get. If you get 2,000 or 5,000 points, you can get a $20 or $50 check to use for the next OpenTable reservation. How can you say “no” to such good deal?
Before getting to the restaurant review, I have to tell you a quick funny story about OpenTable. A little back, Bryan and 3 of his co-workers were in Vegas and they wanted to go to China Poblano for dinner. When they arrived at the reception, the host told them that there wouldn’t be a table until 8:30pm, which was 2 hours away. One of Bryan’s co-worker took out his phone and looked through his OpenTable app, and was able to book a table for 6:30pm that the host said it didn’t exist. They were seated right away. That is totally awesome! How was that possible? I guess it never hurts to check, right?
Now to the restaurant, Taberna Arros y Vi is located in Santa Monica near the pier and Third Street Promenade. They have some pretty nice decoration, like horse head walls and horseshoes. The big wood tables and chairs are beautiful and reminds me of Game of Thrones.
For food, we didn’t order any entrée. We got a bunch of tapas (small plates) to share. Our favorite was the Spicy Potato Skins. They came in a big basket. They were not like the typical American potato skins. These were super thin and crispy like potato chips. Drizzle with a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Very tasty! Sometimes we bit into the seeds, it would be spicy, but they were too good to put down. They are perfect with a glass of beer or wine. We also like the Paprika Shrimps. Smokey juicy shrimps, but oh man, very spicy! If you love spicy food, you will have to try this. The Cider Braised Chorizo seemed like a very traditional dish. The chorizo had a hint of sweet which went well with the pepper relish. Roasted Organic Mushrooms was actually pretty tasty. I enjoyed the creamy burrata with the earthy mushrooms. The Caramelized Onion Meatballs were disappointing. They were nothing special.
For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding. It was the best way to end our meal. It was warm, chocolatety, creamy and light. I love that they topped the pudding with crushed peanut brittle. It gave a nice crunch. The flavorful of the pudding was a lot like a Butterfinger bar. Delicious!
The one small hiccup of the night was the service. It took a while for the check to come. Our server was a bit talkative and had some long exciting conversations with a few customers. It would be so nice if this restaurant was participating in the new Pay with OpenTable program. We could just pay the bill on our phone with the app and leave without the waiting. I am really hoping to see this in all restaurants one day.
Overall, it was a nice meal. We were happy that we tried something different. This is a great place for a few friends to hang out, share some foods and drink a few glasses of wine. I would love to try their squid ink pasta and seafood paella next time.
Taberna Arros y Vi (1403 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401)
Recommend: Spicy Potato Skins, Paprika Shrimps, Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding
Price: $40 – 50 per person
Lokness’ Rating: ★★★ out of 5 stars