Admittedly, I had a so so meal when Julian Serrano first opened and had not gone back since. After perusing the menu, the items just sounded so intriguing that we decided to give them the place another shot. Good thing we did.
Fried Gambas with peppers and garlic were awesome. I wish I could buy dozens of these things with some cold beer and watch the Laker games…at least it would cheer me up after they lose again, and again.
Tuna Cones were decent…a nice refreshing dish but nothing to swoon over. Doubt I would order these again, well maybe if it was just miserably hot outside and wanted a cool tuna and avacado bite.
Octopus with potato was a nicely spiced dish with plenty of smoked paprika. The smoke did sort of mask the octopus a bit but overall a nice dish.
Things all of a sudden got really interesting with this Bang Bang Shrimp salad with some sort of ranch (I forgot what it was). I could not figure out what the flavors were, this dish seriously stumped me in a great way. One of the most unique tasting salads I have had and the shrimp were crazy flavorful. The shrimp flavor popped and the chili added a nice heat. The ranch acted as a nice contrast to the heat from the shrimp. Really good.
Gambas in brava sauce was one of the misses of the meal. While nothing was particularly bad, it just tasted like shrimp in a zesty tomato sauce. It lacked complexity. Again, nothing wrong but not something I would order again.
Black Rice was really good. It was a bit rich but all the flavors melded together into a cohesive bite. Not one flavor was lost, the briny squid ink, rich aoili, calamari and lobster all added to the dish. Definitely would order this again.
Fresh Calamari a la Plancha stole the show. At first I tasted just a calamari by itself, unknowly that it was to be eaten altogether. I was slightly disappointed. Then I discovered the garlic sauce and the carmelized onions and ate it all together and the dish popped. It seriously hit all the taste buds and a harmonious symphony of flavors. Briny, salty and tender calamari, garlic sauce punched you in the face with richness, and the carmelized onions added sweetness and acidity at the same time. Highly recommend. I’ll be going back just for this dish.
Apple Foie Gras was a disappointment. Avoid. Barely any foie gras flavor and the apple was just sweet and there was too much of it.
Rabo de Toro basically was braised oxtail wrapped in crispy pancetta sitting in a potatoe purée. Nice rich dish. Red wine from the braised was the predominant flavor with the salty porky flavor of the pancetta adding another flavor as well as a crunchy texture. Quite good and I am see myself ordering this again.
Had to order some churros since everyone and their mother were ordering them. They were good but IMO churros can only get so good. The bitter chocolate sauce did balance out the sweetness of the sugary churro. A good churro but I would pass on them.
Torrija with Vanilla Ice Cream and Candied Macadamia. The waiter recommended this dessert. It was the first one listed on the dessert menu and he said it has only been on the menu for about 6 months. This dessert was great, it was like a brûléed pain perdu with awesome spice blend and the cool vanilla ice cream bringing everything together. The candied nuts added a nice texture. Highly recommend.
Overall, fantastic meal. IMO better tapas are tops in town. A minor caveat, the paella at Jaleo is the best in town so when I want that I will go there. Glad I gave Julian Serrano another shot, it was like winning the foodie jackpot.