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August 1, 2007 / Tony

Dinner at La Tasca

Our first meal in Washington, D.C. was at La Tasca.  It is a tapas restaurant in the Chinatown area of town.  It was loud and crowded inside.  Not quite what some weary travelers wanted after a long day but it was an interesting culinary experience anyway.  First, the pictures of the food:

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We first ordered a basket of bread.  A bargain at less than four dollars, the basked included 8 hearty slices of some very nice bread.  4 slices of a tomato sourdough and 4 slices of a kalamata olive sourdough.  Both were nice and chewy with a nice crumb, although part of the crust seemed a bit overcooked.  They went well with some dynamite olive oil which was fruity and very full-flavored. 

Then came our food.  I ordered the fried calamari, monkfish, and shrimp (the first picture).  Not that adventurous I know but hey, I like in Fargo, ND. . . not a lot of places serve good calamari.  This dish was about 80% good.  Most of the breaded fish were crispy and tender inside.  However, some of them seemed not too crisp and even a little doughy.  Seems as if the fryer basket should have been shaken a few more times during cooking. 

The patatas bravas (the second picture) was about the same quality.  They really could have been a little bit more crispy and what was supposed to be a spicy tomato sauce was really cloyingly sweet.  The mayonnaise on top of the dish, however, was superb.  Rich and tangy, it provided a nice flavor punch as well as a balance to the sweetness of the tomato sauce. 

The last dish we ordered was chicken with white wine and garlic.  This dish surprised me as it came out because the sauce around it was dark.  And it was a very full-flavored sauce.  It tasted almost like chicken in au jus.  The chicken was wondefully tender as well.  That was definitely the best dish of the night. 

Overall, an OK tapas restaurant.  It would have been nice to have tried a few more dishes but my sister is a pretty light eater and to tell the truth, after all the bread, I was more than full as well. 

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