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The team behind Little Havana's El Rincón Asturia opened Andalus in February 2011 in the former Design District Pacific Time space. The Spanish restaurant specializes in tapas, but these are actually full-size appetizer plates: 13 selections mostly ranging from $10 to $15 apiece. If you visit Andalus alone or as part of a couple, portion and price prohibit the sampling of more than a few items. That's not how tapas are supposed to work. Best sampled of the cold tapas was a plate loaded with moist, salty morsels of "cod carpaccio" ($15). The fish was hardly carpaccio-thin, but it was bacalao-tasty in a pool of fresh, grated tomatoes and olive oil. Seafood salad was likewise flavorful; the medley of shrimp, mussels, squid, and scallops was marinated with peppers and onions in a zesty vinaigrette. Gambas al ajillo gets ignited by slivers of garlic sautéed in olive oil, and chorizo a la sidra comes interspersed with dabs of soft goat cheese. An order of ajo blanco - a chilled white soup prepared by puréeing garlic, almonds, bread, and olive oil (grapes as garnish) - never arrived. The waiters' lack of fluency in English can be problematic. Tablas, or wood boards garnished with charcuterie, provide another alternative for starting your meal. The basic cheese board carries Manchego, Mahón, Tetilla, and Idiazabal. Tabla de Ibéricos is an assemblage of Serrano ham, chorizo, dry-cured pork loin, and white sausage. They are each $15. Nine seafood entrées are divvied into a trio apiece of sole, hake, and bacalao plates. The preparations are nothing to write home about, but the price for these imported fish dishes ($18 to $23) helps to mitigate some of the shortcomings. Paellas ($40 for two) are a specialty. Desserts include a thin, triangular wedge of marzipan cake that tasted fresh and homemade, but drizzles of chocolate and cherry syrups pretty much ruined it. Andalus holds promise, but right now it leads to uneven dining experiences.


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Details

  • Cuisine(s): Spanish, Tapas
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm
  • Price: $$$
  • Serving: Dinner, Late Night
  • Alcohol: Full bar
  • Reservations: Recommended, Online Reservations Available
  • Parking: Meters, Valet
  • Payment Types: All Major Credit Cards
  • Attire: Casual
  • Features: Catering, Delivery, Kid Friendly, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Private Party, Wheelchair Accessible

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