August 3, 2011
Stay In: Madrid to Barcelona
With a brother who is moving to Madrid in a few weeks and our tickets booked to visit him, I'm feeling simply giddy to spend some time exploring El Prado Museum and eating with the locals. In the meantime, I'll settle for great Spanish-inspired spots in Los Angeles to get a taste of the Iberian life. This is a STAY IN meant for a Thursday so as to see flamenco music, but if you must, save it for Saturday when you can catch the Happy Hour from 5pm-7pm at Tinto. ¡Buen viaje!
EAT: As the name suggests, Cobras y Matadors is ever-so-Spanish with its soft lighting and menu of modern tapas that ranges from roasted mushrooms with a sherry glaze to bacon-wrapped dates. For a well-rounded dinner, try the Oven Roasted Mussels, the Grilled Asparagus with manchego and almonds, Papas Fritas with aioli and a small bowl of the marinated olives. You can also bring your own rioja (or any wine you choose) for a small corkage fee.
DRINK: In true Andalucian style, cozy up at Tinto from 8pm-11pm for live flamenco and pitchers of sangria. More of a wine purist? Choose from their long list of Spanish varieties including toros from Zamora, rias baixas from Galicia or sparkling cavas from Catalunya. Finish with a plate of Churros con Chocolate a la Taza (housemade hot chocolate) or the Crema Catalana (caramel custard) and you'll feel like you escaped to Sevilla for the night.
STAY: Tucked above El Chavo, the unmarked El Tres Inn is tiny with only three rooms like a true European hideaway. But, it's both as quaint as can be with it's warm floral walls and interestingly quirky with its vintage decor and turntables. Book one of the rooms, throw on a robe and relax in the living area of these suites. It just doesn't feel like you're in Los Angeles anymore, does it?