Damp and with weather blues, I waited for Elly at a table near the patio doors, watching everyone trying to dodge the never ending downpour. Once Elly arrived we decided to order a couple of dishes to go with our drinks as we chatted and waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
|Croquettes, Calamari and Patatas Bravas|
|Chicken and Blue Cheese Croquettes|
We ordered cod croquettes, patatas bravas, calamari and chicken and blue cheese croquettes. By far the chicken and blue cheese croquettes were the best thing about the whole evening, food wise. They were crunchy on the outside and wonderfully creamy on the inside. The cod croquettes were alright but no way near as nice as the chicken ones. It would be nice to have some traditional ham croquettes on the menu either instead of or as well as the cod ones. The patatas were pronounced tasty if not quite as spicy as we would have liked, but I have tasted so many different patatas over the years there is no hard and fast rule as to how they should come out. I found my calamari portion very plentiful for the money but the calamari itself was a little rubbery and lacking in flavour.
Once everyone else arrived we ordered more beer, of which there is a fairly good selection of Spanish lagers some of which I'd not seen in other Bristol bars before. We then ordered a couple more tapas each, mostly meat based and got stuck into the drinking. On the whole we agreed we liked the atmosphere of La Tomatina it was cosy, relaxed and had the reassuringly familiar sound of Gypsy Kings on in the background. Elly who has lived in a couple of Spanish cities agreed that tapas bars were more enjoyable when they threw themselves into the Spanish feel and culture as well as the food, I tend to agree.
|Cured Meats Board|
|Chorizo with Butter Beans and Shallots|
|Patatas with Tomato and Alioli|
|Meatballs in Tomato Sauce|
|Braised Pork Ribs in Tomato and Herb Sauce|
Bristol has a lot of tapas venues around at the moment and if it wants in on the competition fixing these little problems will be simple enough and I look forward to sampling those croquettes again as they were the jewel in their tapas crown. La Tomatina is a good addition to the bottom of Park Street, if any sun actually comes our way this Summer it will be a nice way to while a few lazy hours in the afternoon. It is good value for money, some other tapas venues have very random portion control which can lead to unexpected hunger pangs, none of that here thank goodness. To check out their menus and upcoming events go to their website.