La Bodega

I passed by this place a few weeks ago after dinner at Panz Veggie and I remember thinking, "What an interesting-looking tapas place! I should try it out sometime..." So when FF listed La Bodega among several other dining options for our dinner rendezvous, I immediately voted for the Spanish tapas bar. The decor (complete with red and white checkered tablecloths) exuded country charm. The menu was difficult to read because all of the dishes had Spanish names with English descriptions in small font underneath. It took a while to read all the descriptions and decide on what to order.

Since there was no complimentary bread, we ordered a basket of bread ($3) to start. It was served warm and the crust was nice and crispy. I think I finished off half the basket!

Mich ordered the calamares because she hadn't eaten fried squid for more than a year and had a craving for them. She ended up finishing almost the whole thing! I tried a couple and really enjoyed the garlic dip, but found the squid a bit too heavy with oil.

The arroz español, also known as Spanish rice, was rice pilaf with bits of fish, red peppers and parsley. It was flavourful but a bit too salty for my taste.

For some reason, we decided to try the quail dish that was on a separate menu. I only had a leg and that tasted pretty dry and stringy. The quail was too thin and scrawny, so it wasn't juicy enough to taste good. The potatoes on the side were not bad, but we got tired of them because they came with the next couple of dishes as well.

We were quite adventurous and went for the conejo riojana, fresh rabbit meat cooked with tomatoes in wine sauce. I know this sounds cliche, but it tasted just like tender chicken meat. It was very nice and I liked this much better than the quail.

The beef tongue was highly recommended by FF and for good reason. It was super tender and soft with a smooth texture and tasty seasoning.

I don't remember the prices, but everything was affordable with a price range of $10 to $15. I loved the rustic ambiance and the concept of sharing all the dishes with friends. This is definitely a place to revisit.

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