Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tapas And Paella at Picasso's

Picasso's San JoseYesterday, a friend and I drove down to Picasso's restaurant for a taste of Spain. This small eatery in downtown San Jose specializes in Tapas and Paellas. Being a Saturday night the restaurant was packed and we were lucky to get our table almost immediately. The walls, no surprise, are decorated with prints of Spain's most famous cubist painter whose name adorns the restaurant.

Picasso's San JoseLike everyone else in the restaurant we ordered Sangria for drinks. SangrĂ­a is a wine punch from Spain. The word sangrĂ­a comes from the Spanish sangre meaning blood. It typically consists of red wine, chopped fruit (in our case, apple), a sweetener such as honey or orange juice, a small amount of added brandy, triple-sec or soda. Interestingly, the locals will never order Sangria in a bar; it is something you will only serve in house parties. So, bar sangria in Spain is aimed almost exclusively at tourists.

Picasso's San JoseWe ordered some small plates from the Tapas menu. The Salteado de Champinones y Setas was an assortment of sauteed mushrooms featuring button, shitake and portabello mushrooms flambed in garlic and paprika with Spanish dry sherry. The Pinchitos Morunos de cerdo was a spicy dish of marinated chicken fillet. While the dishes took way too long to arrive, when they did, they were well worth the wait.

Picasso's San JoseWe ordered the Paella a la Valenciana for our entree. This is traditional paella featuring chicken, calamari, chorizo, mussels, shrimps and saffron rice. Please note that you can order Paella for a minimum of two people and it takes about 20-25 minutes to prepare. The paella was interesting, sort of like a Spanish version of the Indian biryani but made with parboiled rice.

The verdict? The food is great but the service was extremely poor on the day I was here, with long wait times and an indifferent waiter. For the kind of restaurant this is, the prices are also a bit on the higher side.

Picasso's is located at 62 W. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113. Phone: 408.298.4400

6 comments:

backpakker said...

an interesting food review..though im not too much of a foodie, i enjoyed reading your posts -they bring out the essence of the places you have been to .

RennyBA said...

This really take me down the memory lane from when I last was in Spain (almost 20 years ago :-( I so much remember Sangria and also the Paella - even with fish, quite different from Norwegian food you know.

Btw: Thanks for your nice comment and warm thoughts on my Love Story post!

Zhu said...

Oh, I'm dying for a paella now ! :$ It's hard to find in Ottawa though, we only have one - quite pricey - Spanish restaurant.

Given the main theme of your blog, I tagged you with a food related meme:

Have you eaten yet ?

No pressure, but I'd love to see what you wouldcome up with!;)

Shantanu said...

@backpakkar: Thanks for being a regular reader.

@rennyba: This was my first time with Spanish food too, but I liked everything I ate. Now have to try it in Spain. :-)

@zhu: Ok I will give it a shot once I get back to India. :-)

Anonymous said...

Best at piccaso's are
crab cakes, meat balls, gambos al ajillo
(place like cascal survives as tapas restaurant only on this tapas dish) and stuffed bell peppers(pimientos pequenos or something like that)
The serving sizes have gone down though.

Shantanu said...

@anon: Thanks for the information. Will try this the next time I visit Picasso.