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La Tasca (James Street, London)

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30-34 James Street, London, W1U 1ER. Tel:020 7486 3314

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      18.08.2009 10:58
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      A great branch of this popular chain and a wonderful way to spend very little money on a lovely meal

      My mother and I visited this branch of La Tasca on a recent theatre break to London as it was within a ten minute walk of our hotel and only 5 minutes from Oxford Street. I had one of the infamous 50% off food vouchers courtesy of Money Saving Expert and so located the nearest and most convenient branch from the La Tasca website and this was it.

      I have to say that the La Tasca website is excellent and very user friendly, you can book a table in advance online and arrange for the confirmation to be texted to your phone which ensures you will have it to hand should you need it on arrival.

      This particular branch is on a deceptively quiet street which is situated approximately halfway between Oxford Street and Regents Park where we were staying. It was easy to find with googlemaps and is situated on a side street which is fairly quiet and contains just a couple of bars and restaurants in what feels like an upmarket residential area. It is worth noting that this restaurant seemed to be full of locals rather than tourists which is probably due to its location also.

      Outside the front of this branch there is a terrace area with tables, an awning to protect from rain and some patio heaters to keep it warm. This was generally being used as a smoking area but it would have been nice to sit outside if the weather had been better.

      On entering the main restaurant is split into two areas, one in front of the bar area and one round to the right which is a little more private. This is where were seated in a nice small table by the window which gave an excellent chance to people watch. Toilets are down a steep flight of stairs in the basement and whilst they were clean and well maintained this might make this restaurant difficult for those with disabilities.

      La Tasca has the same menu at all of its branches, offering a wide range of tapas, paellas and other tasty spanish dishes. I have always enjoyed the food and although I am aware the menu is generic the meals are always very enjoyable and taste freshly cooked.

      We ordered around 7/8 tapas dishes to share and a pither of sangria to get into a proper Spanish feeling mood and also shared a bowl of olive bread which was still warm and very tasty with the balsamic vinegar and olive oils supplied for dipping.

      Service was efficient and the food came within 20 minutes of ordering, in particular the pollo con pimento (chicken with peppers) and the vegetable paella were very good but we also enjoyed the manchego cheese and patatas bravas. The style of eating tapas is very relaxed and sociable and it was an enjoyable feeling to sit and eat such nice food at leisure, picking between the bowls and trying things we might not normally try.

      As we had a 50% off food voucher (and its worth noting nearly every other table also did, what a savvy nation of voucher fans we are becoming!) I decided to splash out on a glass of Cava each for us which was not cheap at around £6 a glass. It felt like a lovely way to end the meal however and the overall bill was still less than we expected once the voucher had been applied, working out at around £45 which felt like a bargain considering how well we had eaten and drank.

      We paid the bill before taking our cava outside and sitting for 10 minutes at one of the pavement tables, enjoying the ambience and considering where best to hail a cab over to the theatre from, almost by magic one pulled up just as we stood up to find one which was the perfect end to our experience at this restaurant.

      Highly recommend as a quieter, non-touristy branch with good service, right on the edge of the West End.

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