Bite into sexy, accessible paella in the Design District
The goods: Michelle Bernstein’s Sra. Martinez had the market cornered on Spanish tapas in the Design District, but now there’s Andalus in the former Pacific Time space. Co-owned by the team behind Little Havana’s El Rincon Asturiano, the newcomer caters to both midday and late-night crowds, offering free WiFi for a leisurely business lunch and staying open until 4am on weekends.
Ambience: Andalus has warmed up and loosened up the old PT space with raucous flamenco music on weekends, plenty of high-top tables in the courtyard and the biggest pig sculpture in the Design District.
The goods: Southern Spanish cuisine, from attentively prepared paellas (allow 20 minutes) to cured pork and delicate seafood. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous. Starters average $12 and most mains are under $25. Wines can be had for $6 a glass.
Dinner starts with country bread and piquant olive oil. Move on to plump boquerones (anchovies) and a platter of Serrano ham. Seafood dishes include hake loin with mussels and prawns; veal chop, classic filet and roasted chicken round out the mains. But the spotlight here is on paellas, from squid-ink blackened rice dotted with shrimp and clams to a rabbit version with mushrooms. Desserts include a traditional crema catalana and a turrón ice cream made with sherry, cream and crushed almond and honey candy.
Verdict: A sexy, accessible paella palace in the Design District.