One of the best things about living in the Bay Area is the diversity of food. There are so many restaurants serving every type of cuisine you can imagine which makes living here so exciting.
I heard about a new restaurant near the Castro District in San Francisco serving up Spanish tapas. Since Coqueta (read my review here) along the Embarcadero is the only Spanish tapas place I’ve tried in the city, I was curious to try Aatxe. Aatxe has a small menu with bite sized dishes, appetizers, and a few entrées.
My favorite dishes of the night were the padron peppers, octopus, and pork belly. Starting off the meal we ordered a few pintxos, small bites/finger foods. My favorite out of the bunch was the mini toast smeared with chorizo aioli topped with fresh corn. The padron peppers were a great appetizer; blistered and slightly charred tossed with lemon verbena salt. The octopus was perfectly cooked, tender with a slight char on the outside from the grill, served with meaty fingerling potatoes, sweet sungold tomatoes, and aromatic salsa verde. The slow cooked pork belly had amazing flavor and great accompaniments of earthy chanterelle mushrooms, corn, and a scrumptious apricot-hazelnut romesco sauce.
Even though I enjoyed the meal as a whole, I think I prefer Coqueta over Aatxe for higher quality Spanish inspired tapas. Therefore I’d rate Aatxe at a 7/10.
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