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-Introduction to La Tasca-
La Tasca is a chain of Spanish restaurants with over 60 branches in the UK as well as additional restaurants overseas. This review is specifically about the York branch of the restaurant chain as that is the one I have visited.
La Tasca York is located on Swinegate, which is in an area in the city centre that has quite a few bars and restaurants and is therefore normally quite lively on an evening. This occasion was no exception and the street was busier than normal as York races had been held that day. Nevertheless we were seated within seconds of entering the restaurant, and we hadn't even pre-booked a table. The first thing I noticed upon entering was how dark it is inside. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the dim lighting coupled with the Latino style music and the appropriate decor gives the place an asmosphere that feels right for a Spanish Tapas bar and restaurant. The member of staff who greeted us and showed us to a table was very friendly, and over all my first impression of the place was very positive.
The La Tasca menu contains mainly Tapas and Paella, as well as other small dishes such as breads and olives.
The Tapas were the main reason for our visit to La Tasca as we fancied trying some new dishes and also liked the idea of choosing a few small dishes and sampling different things. There is quite a wide range of Tapas available including meat, fish, salads, and vegetable dishes.
We were told that 3-4 dishes per person is the norm as the dishes are quite small and one dish is not designed to be a full meal. Most people order them to share but me and my favourite have very different food preferences so decided to choose our own.
The meat dishes included chorizo, meatballs in rich tomato sauce, salsa chicken wings, and pork belly served with rosemary herb-scented beans.
There were around six fish/sea food choices and these included butterfly king prawns, squid, and deep-fried white fish served with a paprika and garlic mayonaise.
As for the vegetarian options there were several choices there too. Goat's cheese and tomato salad, spanish omelette, and potato gratin to name a few.
We were spoilt for choice as there were around 30 dishes to choose from, but one of the nice things about Tapas is the fact you can choose a few things.
After some deliberation I opted for the deep-fried white fish, potato gratin, a chicken and chorizo dish, and a green salad. For drinks I was on soft drinks so I just had some juice, which was ice cold and nice and refreshing. My friend chose some meat dishes including the meat balls and chicken and prawn paella (they serve paella as a small Tapas dish as well as in large portions.)
The food arrived after a short wait of about 10-15 minutes which we were glad about as we could smell delicious things from the kitchen and we were getting hungry.
All my dishes looked really appetising when they arrived, and they didn't dissapoint taste wise either. The fish came in small battered pieces and the batter was lovely and crunchy with really tasty fish on the inside. The garlic and paprika mayonaise it was served with added a tangy taste to the dish and complemented the fish very well. The potato gratin was my favourite dish-it was made with blue cheese and spinach and was rich and creamy. The chicken and chorizo dish came in a pepper, onion, white wine and cream sauce and again was rich and tasty, although I could have done with a few more pieces of chicken and chorizo in the sauce. The green salad was lovely and fresh, although I think it would be difficult to get that dish wrong!
My friend's food looked just as nice and she said she thoroughly enjoyed it too. We were nice and full by the end-we definitely felt 4 dishes each was about right.
I can't complain about the service. We were seated quickly and we given just enough time to peruse the menu before our orders were taken. Drinks and food were brought out quickly, and best of all the staff were friendly, pleasant, and smiling.
-Prices and Offers-
Tapas dishes vary in price but they're roughly ¬£4-¬£5 each-which can add up to quite an expensive meal once you've chosen a few. The Paella dishes (the large version, not Tapas) are around ¬£10 each, and breads and olives are about ¬£3 each. Soft drinks are around ¬£3 too.
There is also an option to buy a Tapas selection. There is 'La Tasca Favourites' which includes six popular dishes for a price of ¬£24.95 or 'Chef Recommends' for ¬£29.95 which contains six dishes.
La Tasca also have a loyalty card which offers 20% discount and there are normally various La Tasca vouchers and offers in circulation online.
You can book a table at La Tasca York by visiting their website: http://www.latascakitchen.co.uk/, calling them on 01904 521100, or popping in and seeing them. As I said we just turned up without booking and were seated straight away so it may not always be necessary to book.
The opening hours of the restaurant are 11:00-23:00, every night.
I have heard a few negative opinions from friends about La Tasca York but I can't fault my visit to the restaurant. The staff were friendly and attentive and the food delicious. The only bad thing I could possibly say is that it can work out a little pricey if you choose quite a few little dishes. I will definitely be making a return visit to La Tasca York.
After my holiday in Spain, I fell in love with paella and the Spanish cuisine so was hoping I'd enjoy my visit to La Tasca and that the food would be just as good.
My partner and I visited our local restaurant and were amazed at the detail they had gone to in creating that authentic feel. The d√©cor was great and the layout of the restaurant was pretty good too, a lot of wooden tables and wooden features contrasted with bright yellow and orange colours.
Immediately upon arrival the staff welcomed us at the door and were friendly and polite, taking us straight to our table where our drinks order was taken and we were offered bread and olives. The staff recommended some dishes and how many tapas dishes per person - this was a great touch as the staff made an effort to interact with us.
After having our order taken promptly we took in the atmosphere, with the music. There was a kind of buzz about the place with many customers arriving whilst we were waiting for our meals.
The food arrived quite quickly from ordering, which we were impressed with as I was expecting a bit of wait due to the number of other diners that night When it arrived there was plenty of food and it was really good - great flavour and presentation. Truly Spanish - to my surprise from a restaurant chain!
The only downside was the location in that there was limited parking nearby, however this didn't cause a great problem. Due to the location of the restaurants being in cities I think you have to bear this in mind when thinking of how to get there, as taking the train or bus may be a better option.
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at La Tasca and will definitely return soon. I feel La Tasca is certainly worthy of 4 out of 5 stars.
4 of us ate in Birmingham's La Tasca this evening.
We arrived and were seated promptly but as it was a gorgeous evening we were really hoping to have been seated outside, instead, we were seated in a back corner of the restaurant and promptly forgotten about. We had requested a table for four, so when we complained after waiting 15 minutes for our drinks order to be taken we were told "but you are waiting for two more people", yes we were, but it would have been nice to have some drinks whilst waiting, that's generally what happens anyway.
We had some olives and a bread basket whilst waiting for our friends. The olives had pits which I found annoying and made them difficult to enjoy but the dressing was really very nice. The bread seemed to have just been defrosted (!) and wasn't the lovely warm bread I am used to eating in restaurants.
Our friends arrived and again it took us all a while to grab the attention of the waiter and we ordered drinks and our dishes before we lost them for ages again. The drinks took a while (20 or so miutes) to arrive and the food took an unacceptable amount of time to arrive, 40 - 50 minutes. The waiting times would have been forgivable if the restaurant was even 50% full but it was pretty quiet in there and not busy enough to justify the excessive waits. Two dishes were missing when the food arrived so we had to wait for those.
The food was OK. None of the dishes seemed properly hot, they were lukewarm at best. I have not had authentic Spanish Tapas before (I'm one of those annoying English people that will head straight for the English ex pat's bar/cafe and eat there for the next two weeks!!) but I have eaten at independant tapas restaurants here in the UK and the food was definitely better than this. I do not like green peppers and the chicken skewers that I ordered came with green peppers on, I felt particularly miffed about that as there was no mention of the peppers in the menu, peppers aside the chicken was quite tasty and had quite a nice marinade. The sangria was a let down too, it tasted like lemonade with a splash of wine in it.
We had a 50% off voucher so our bill in total was ¬£50, I am so glad we had this voucher as I would have been pretty angry/upset to have had to shell out ¬£100. Our waiter was pleasant enough but the service was poor, inefficient and slow.
It's a shame really as the interior was gorgeous and it was a lovely atmosphere but we wont going back, we came home and looked for other Tapas places in the city centre and have found quite a good one in The Mailbox, hoping that one is nicer, it can't be much worse.
I am writing this review having eaten in La Tascas in Bristol and Exeter. Firstly, on interior, La Tascas do tend to have great decor, the one in Exeter is particularly notable. It is in the city's Princesshay development, a fantastic modern shopping centre, but a step into the La Tasca restaurant and you are stepping from English shopping into a typically Spanish bar. Each time I have been in there I have been greeted by Spanish staff. I don't know if La Tasca make a point of employing Spaniards, or whether this has just been a coinsidence for me.
The menu is great, and gives a varied selection of common tapas. My favourites currently are the gambas pil pil (delicious garlic and lemon king prawns), pollo marbella (chicken and chorizo in a red wine sauce), and the croquetas de jamon y queso (Serano ham and cheese croquettes). It is not quite the large portions that you get in Spain, but La Tasca certainly give enough to fill you up. A good amount for two people is probably five tapas dishes. Moreover, La Tasca most months seem to have some promotion (usually 50% off everything), which makes it all the more worthwhile. I have had a large meal for two for under twenty pounds.
The food is of a good standard, it is tasty, always hot and served on hot plates. Moreover, the service is always quick, and whenever there is a delay, the staff always apologise and encourage you to buy more drinks! As for the drinks, I had a superb sherry from there, fruity with fig tastes, made with pederoz ximenez grapes, and I have drunk a reasonable (nothing special) wine. Both were quite pricey, I believe the sherry was about six pounds, whilst the wine was about ¬£20.
The best part of La Tasca is in the nature of Tapas - sharing, it is a great place to go on a date, but with friends it can turn into who can grab the most the quickest!
La Tasca is one of my favourite restaurants and I love to go there on special occasions especially at times like Valentine's Day or anniversaries as the atmosphere is quite romantic in there with the lights turned down low and candles burning on every table.
It's a Spanish restaurant and the main thing they serve is tapas which is where you order lots of different small dishes and share between the rest of your table. The staff in La Tasca recommend about 3 dishes for every person and when I go with my husband we usually get 6 dishes and this works out perfectly enough for the both of us.
Although the dishes are only small, they seem to really fill you up and the food is just so delicious here. Some of my favourite dishes are Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelette) which you have to get when eating in a Spanish restaurant, patatas bravas - potatoes in a red spicy sauce, and the chicken croquettes which are gorgeous. If you're sharing with someone else you can choose your dishes together and you get to try a little bit of everything.
Prices are about ¬£3-4 per dish which isn't bad as this adds up to about ¬£25 for a meal for 2 people.
As well as having the Tortilla Espanola, I always have to have Sangria when in a Spanish restaurant too, and you can get big jugs of these and it's one of the best Sangria's that I've tasted in here - not too strong on the red wine but enough to make it delicious.
I'm actually going here tonight for a birthday and I've only just had my lunch but I'm already drooling for some tapas!
La Tasca restaurants are probably the leading chain of Spanish food in the UK. Found in many city centres and larger towns, they specialise in tapas food.
The interiors of the restaurants is very mock Spanish. There is a lot of dark wood mixed with bright coloured crockery and painted walls, the tapas are served in traditional terracotta style dishes. A lot of the restaurants also have a bar which is slightly set away from the main eating area and well stocked. In the evenings the tables are often candlelit.
For starters there is a selection of dishes such as breads, dips and olives. I can particularly vouch for the 'pan de barra' - dipping bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. A great light starter to share before the main meal.
As regards the tapas there is a fairly wide selection of dishes you can choose from. My favourites are as follows:
Pollo con salsa - chicken breast and sliced mushrooms, in a rich sherry, white wine & cream sauce.
Patatas bravas - fried potato, with a spicy tomato sauce.
Chorizo Frito Al Vino - spicy Spanish sausage, flavoured with paprika, garlic and herbs, saut√©ed in red wine. (simple but really, really tasty - my favourite)
Calamares Andaluza - deep-fried squid with garlic mayonnaise and fresh lemon.
ALB√ďNDIGAS A LA JARDINERA - meatballs with tomato sauce (surprisingly substantial)
Alitas de pollo - chicken wings
Pollo Marbella - Chicken, cooked with paprika, chorizo, sweet peppers, onion and a white wine & cream sauce.
PATATAS BRAVAS CON QUESO - Fried potato, with melted cheese and a spicy tomato sauce
TORTILLA ESPA√ĪOLA - Spanish-style omelette, with potato and onion.
The above is only a small selection of the dishes on offer, and I would recommend that a selection of 5 would provide a nice meal for two, and give you a little room for experimentation other. Other than what I have listed above there are several salads available as well as varieties of meat and seafood paella. The paellas are also available as main meals - however I personally would not recommend them as they really are not anything special and you can get more satisfying and substantial dishes from the taps menu.
The desserts menu has a variety of products ranging from sorbet , ice cream, to Spanish style apple pie, fruit with sauce. There is a lot of chocolate on the menu in the form of sauces or torte style dishes.
As regards drinks, I personally always have their staple Sangria when I go there. Light and fresh it is a really good accompaniment and available in a pitcher or by the glass. There is also a more expensive Sangria available which is made from Cava as well as cocktails such as Woo Woo and Long Island Ice Tea. Also, alongside the predominantly Spanish wine and lagers there is a good selection of traditional Spanish sherries (as opposed to Croft or Harvey Bristol styles!). More bitter in flavour than British offerings, they make a good accompaniment to desserts I have found or as an after dinner drink (I know that they are traditionally an aperitif but this is how i like them best.)
Now onto prices. Whilst there are set menus of two courses and a drink for ¬£15 to ¬£19, I have never tried these preferring to enjoy their other well publicised special offers. Although it can vary according to each restaurants , Tapas for a tenner is their most significant one Tapas for a tenner/ lunch for 2 for ¬£10 (5 tapas for ¬£10). With this you can often top this up with other components for a good price eg bread and oil for ¬£1 and a bottle of house wine for ¬£7.50 - providing you with a hearty albeit slightly boozy meal for under ¬£20.
If you keep an eye out you can also often find 50% off vouchers on voucher code websites, moneysavingexpert.com and particularly if you register on their website (www.latasca.co.uk) they will email you promotions. Please note that at the time of writing (January 2010), they no longer accept Tesco Clubcard vouchers.
So the verdict then. All-in-all I have really enjoyed dining at La Tasca restaurants. The food, particularly when on offer, is good value and satisfying. In my opinion it works just as well as a place to go for lunch as well as the evening. The food in general is really nice and although the portions appear small when arriving in Tapas bowls, they are surprisingly satisfying. It is also a nice place to go if you just fancy a Sangria and a dessert. In my opinion it is only really the paella that does not really match up to expectations.
Of course, you do not get the depth of flavour or quality ingredients that you would get from a good independent Spanish restaurant but as a reasonably priced introduction to Spanish food you cannot go wrong with this. In general, I have always found the customer service to be very good and the staff amenable and helpful. It is fair to say that they do not vary the dishes on their menu very much except for special menus for events such as Valentines Day. I personally would like to see more seasonal dishes put on the menu if only for a limited time in order for me to be encouraged to go back more often
However, weighing up the pros and cons, I do see La Tasca restaurants as ones that would be on my regular rotation of chain outlets that I would visit and enjoy.
I visited La Tasca for the first time last week and to be honest I was prepared to be disappointed. Having spent many holidays in Spain I am a huge fan of tapas and didn't think a chain restaurant would be able to deliver. However, I was very pleasantly surprised! We had a lovely meal, the staff were very friendly and as we had a voucher it worked out great value for money. The voucher which we found online was for 6 tapas to share between the two of us and also entitled us to a large glass of Rose wine each. The voucher had to be used before 5pm which suited us fine.
* * * *Restaurant/Location* * * *
The restaurant we visited was the London Victoria branch. When we arrived at about 4.30pm we were seated at a table near the window. The restaurant was about half full at this time yet still had a vibrant and lively atmosphere. There was a real mix of people, young and old, families, couples and friends. The d√©cor has a very Spanish feel to it. The walls are painted warm, burnt orange shades and the furniture is dark wood. The walls are decorated with various Moroccan style tapestries. As well as tables there are long benches and booths scattered with brightly coloured cushions. I t felt very warm and inviting. Spanish music was playing in the background adding to the lively and upbeat atmosphere.
* * * *Food* * * *
In order to make the voucher we were using valid we had to choose from a selective menu. This was not a problem and we easily found 6 tapas which we liked, chances are we would have chosen the exact same 6 from the full menu! We chose:
*Albondigas a la Jardinera (Spanish-style beef meatballs served in tomato sauce)
*Croquetas de Pollo (Chicken croquettes with roasted garlic mayonnaise)
*Patatas Bravas (fried potato with a spicy tomato sauce)
*Paella Valenciana (paella with chicken, squid, king prawns, mussels, peas and green beans, topped with asparagus, artichoke, red pepper and lemon wedges)
*Champinones al Ajillo (Mushrooms lightly saut√©ed in garlic oil.)
*Gambas Pil Pil (Six king prawns, sizzling in a galic and chilli infused oil.)
We were worried about not having enough, the main menu states that you should order two to three tapas each, but when it arrived we had plenty for the two of us. It was nice to nibble at the different dishes and try a variety of things. My particular favourites were the chicken croquettes. The chicken was very smooth, almost a pureed sort of consistency and they were lovely when dipped in the garlic mayonnaise. I also enjoyed the mushrooms and the meatballs and would definitely order them again. The paella was a little dry and not as packed full of seafood and chicken as I had been expecting, but it wasn't terrible either. We had a large glass of Rose wine which was lovely, very light and fruity.
* * * *Overall Experience* * * *
The staff were very friendly and attentive and the food arrived very quickly and all at the same time. The amount of food that we had was just right between the two of us and we left feeling full and satisfied. The voucher that we had made it excellent value for money, only ¬£7.50 each for a really filling meal and a large glass of wine! If you plan on going to La Tasca then I would definitely advise looking out for any offers rather than paying the full price which it seemed may work out quite expensive. Whilst we were there I noticed that they had several ongoing promotions including Lunch for Two for ¬£10 and Tapas for a Tenner. When paying the bill I was given a voucher wishing me a Happy New Year and entitling me to 50% off my bill anytime between 26/12/09 and 13/02/10. This was a nice added bonus and something I will definitely use. It can be used at any branch at any time which is also very good. We had an excellent meal here which was great value. Quick service and friendly staff all added to the positive experience. I will definitely be going back!
We've been to La Tasca a few times, and its one of the only Spanish restaurants I know in the area. Our nearest one is in durham, about a 40 minute drive away, so we don't get to go all that often.
I have to be honest and say I'd heard of it, but didn't think lots of little plates of food really appealled to me, however we were paid to go to a mystery shopping job there, so seemed like a good free night out.
There are almost always vouchers for 50% off all food, or buy one get one free on tapas, so its worth a quick google before heading out. In addition there are earlybird, and lunchtime deals, so the price on the menu is rarely what you actually pay.
Even so each tapas is about ¬£4. They recomend getting 3-4 per person. When we went the first time we got 8 between us and so much was wasted! So maybe go for 3 each unless you have a really big appetite.
The menu is very varied and there is lots of choice depending on if you like fish, vegetables, chicken, red meat, breads and so on. We love the chicken croquettes, my fiancee loves the mushroom ones too although I think they have a bizarre mushroom mousse type consistency! There is a lovely red wine chorizo stew as well.
The inside of the restaurant is very relaxed, lots of bright colours, wooden benches with big cushions on them. Overall I find the restaurant a very pleasant, informal place to be and enjoy spending time there. It helps that the staff are friendly and a good laugh as well.
Without a voucher we usually end up paying abour ¬£45 for a meal for two, which is a bit steep, but with one we'll be on about ¬£30 which includes desserts and a few drinks, which I'm more than happy to pay.
La Tasca specialises in spanish tapas dishes. There menu is extensive ranging from paella to chorizo. The ambiance is quite nice not too over lit, yet not to dark.
They can accomodate for larges parties but do prefer to take your order in advance of the day.
I have eaten her on several occassions over the previous years, I have found it to be a fun/quirky place to chose, however, get those sangria's down you straight away, so to surpress your appetite.
Lets start with the drinks menue. Hugely over priced, around ¬£15 for the cheapest bottle of wine, and one glass of sangria will set you back ¬£3.50. Your best option is to buy a jug of sangria.
Now on to the food. The menu is very appetising and the prices would reflect an averrage size meal, but don't be fooled, you will need to order at least 4 plates at around ¬£4-5 per plate (on average). I didn't even find that the individual dishes were even enough to share. I found the food to be quite plane and unimpressive, my experience with tapas in the past has always been very tasty and well seasoned.
This is far from a cheap eveing out, especially with the credit crunch.
They are currently offering a lunch special 2 people eat for ¬£10 choose 5 tapas to share between 2 people.
I won't be returning there any time soon.
I recently visited La Tasca in Harrogate as part of a hen night and I'll start here with the positives.
The place was well decorated with a lively atmosphere even at 6pm on a Saturday night (we had theatre tickets). The staff were very helpful and friendly even to the extent of having decorated the table with items left by the maid of honour and cutting and wrapping the cake for us to take the next day as we ran out of time on the night.
We ordered the 'fiesta' menu - ¬£15 for a set selection of tapas to share and again the staff were very good about letting us know what all the dishes were and bringing extra dishes for the vegetarians. There was a lot of food and unlike often when I visit tapas restaurants I didn't leave feeling hungry.
I suppose there was only one downside really and that was that the food wasn't very good. The selection on the fiesta menu was quite greasy with a selection of deep-fried goods (battered fish, squid rings, croquettes) and also rather bland and boring. The patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) were not very spicy at all and the paella and mixed vegetable dishes had little flavour either. The food may be better if you chose your own dishes from the main menu, I do tend to think that you sometimes get ripped off at these places when you're in a party although that tends to be in terms of quantity rather than taste and as I mentioned the quantities here were more than enough.
Obviously bad food can be quite a downside for a restaurant, however I think the staff, atmosphere and price meant that the evening wasn't a complete loss (and the bread was nice) so I've given it a medium rating.