I don’t know about you, but I love sharing food with friends and family. To me, there is nothing better than getting to taste a little bit of everything when I go out. There is so much to experience: different flavors, textures and aromas and I see no reason to miss them. One of the best ways to do this is going to restaurants with small plate (or tapa) offerings. The most typical style of this small plate dining is Spanish. They are known for their tapas and have always preferred the idea of the small plate. Now though, you can experience small plates from all over the world.
Living near LA, there are endless options for this. One of my favorites is The Med in Hermosa Beach. Their small plates come from all over Europe and are always delicious! Whether it is the Little Gem Salad or the Seafood and Fennel Salad, it is always a hit. They also have a weekly market menu that is really unique and a welcome surprise. Oh, and don’t even get me started about their wine and especially their amazing beer selection! Hot’s Kitchen, also in Hermosa Beach, does great small plates in the form of tacos, sliders, wings and some great appetizers.
In Pasadena, there is a great Spanish tapas place called Bar Celona (great play on words, right?). This is a great spot for the more traditional small plates of Spain. Another great spot for the traditional is Bar Pinxto in Santa Monica. It is small and quaint. When you walk in, you feel like you stepped out of sunny California and into a romantic hole in the wall in Spain.
Small plates are more than a way to taste it all, they are also a great socialization tool. While you are experiencing all of the great tastes, you can discuss with your dinner buddies and see who shares your tastes and who doesn’t. Small plates quickly become a night of big fun!