Sunday, March 21, 2010

Late night tapas @ Bar Pintxo

So Friday night was supposed to be Korean food + karaoke but I wanted to be back in the Westside so I ditched karaoke and instead headed to SaMo to meet with friends for drinks, which was much needed since there was no booze at dinner. My friends were already halfway through their SaMo pub crawl by 9.15pm and I met up with them at The Yard. I always love the Yard because they have good beers, cocktails and bites. After a drink, we decided to head to Bar Pintxo for their happy hour. Yes, I said happy hour, at 10pm. Bar Pintxo, a Spanish tapas bar by Santa Monica beach has two happy hours: 4-6pm daily and late night from 10pm til closing on Wed-Sat. Yes, even though I did have an awesome meal at Seongbukdong, I couldn't resist some little bites.

Bar Pintxo is rather tiny so we were fortunate to score seats at the bar, overlooking the small open kitchen and beside the leg of Serrano ham on the counter, all ready for slicing. I had dinner at Pintxo last year and really enjoyed it.

Happy hour includes sangria for $4 and stellas for $1.50. We tried the white and red wine sangrias which were refreshing but not too strong in alcoholic content. Happy hour includes 6 pintxos for $6 or select tapas for $4. Pintxos are essentially one bites while tapas are larger portions meant to be shared.

The six tapas include fresh tomato and grilled bread, huevos rellenos, chorizo and cherry tomato, Serrano crostini, crimini mushroom and mushroom puree with manchego, and manchego with tomato crostini. My favorites were the Serrano and mushroom crostinis. I like the variety of tapas and that you can have the option to choose all six or double up on a couple of your favorites.

Pork belly sandwich with tomato jam, greens, on brioche bun. This was one of the happy hour tapas for $4. Buttery, golden brioche and crispy and fatty pork belly. I enjoyed this but thought there could have been more pork belly in the sandwich.

I like the late night happy hour concept. Sometimes at 10pm during a night out, it's good to ease the pocketbook with discounted drink prices, and line the stomach with a little bite to help you continue on with the next round of bar hopping.

Hits: HH prices, location, mushroom, Serrano
Misses: weak sangria
Rating: ***

Bar Pinxto
109 Santa Monica Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-2012

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