Sharing is caring but for the selfish, small plates allow you to try, well, everything. Let these top 5 restaurants be your guide to testing the best in Los Angeles tapas.
1 AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant
I don’t know if the A.O.C. has given AOC its stamp of approval, but this wine bar and restaurant specializing in small plates Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne is a major fave of L.A. residents. Make sure to order the roasted dates; stuffed with parmesan and wrapped in bacon, these delicious morsels are the epitome of the perfect sweet-meets-savory bite.
Nestled along the fringes of Los Feliz, Barbrix is the sort of casual yet chic haunt that packs both east side hipsters and their west side parents into their quarters. Traditional tapas as well as SoCal-inspired small plates appear on the menu. Carnivores will dig Barbrix’s charcuterie while vegetarians should be required to sample the grilled polenta with alba, shitake and oyster mushrooms, topped with a gorgonzola fonduta. Those looking for a snack can belly up to the bar—the full menu is available—though I recommend ordering a glass of vino and a few selections from Barbrix’s cheese menu.
3 Cobras & Matadors
4 The Bazaar by Jose Andres
Culinary maestro Jose Andres does not disappoint with The Bazaar. Much like a bazaar, The Bazzar features different culinary outposts. Drink enthusiasts can compliment their spirits with tapas menu created to pair with Andres’ creative cocktails (I’m dying to try the foie gras cotton candy) at Bar Centro while fans of ham and cheese can dig into the Jamon y Queso bar at Rojo y Blanca.
This Beverly Hills outpost serves more than just swills and spirits. Night owls will be happy at bar 210; after sampling Chef Marcel Vigneron’s (a protege of Jose Andres--see above) innovative small plates, the dance floor is just few feet away.