We had heard good things about Inopia, but were not sure it would be our scene, as it seemed a little too trendy and lively for our tastes, but we decided to give it a go. Following advice from other food bloggers we arrived early (about 7:30 to avoid the queues) the red rope was raised and we got the last two seats.
The place was already buzzing, food bloggers were clearly in situ, armed with cameras and note books. For such a busy place the service was exceptional, friendly and efficient.
Here is a short video:-
As you would expect with the el Bulli connection (Inopia is owned by el Bulli’s dessert chef, Alberto Adria), the food quality and service was definitely well above your average tapas. We were happy to follow the waiters recommendations, sampling top quality tapas favourites like Patatas Bravas and ham croquettes, along with other dishes such as the Russian Salad and the Tuna carpaccio, we had about 7 dishes in total, washed down with a couple of glasses of Kalimotxo and a refreshing complimentary liqueur.
UPDATE November 2010 – Last weekend, the last tapas were served at Inopia, co-owned by Alberto Adrià, who is said to have been too busy working on another project to mourn over the closing, the place is soon to reopen under a new name, Lolita.
Went to Bar Lobo (part of the Grupo Tragaluz) for drinks. It is a pleasant enough venue (although the drains do smell a bit when sitting outside). The service is the main problem here, staff did not seem very friendly and the service was slow and inconsistent, i.e., later arrivals getting their food and drink before we got our rather simple drinks order.
We returned again a few evenings later for Tapas (to give it a second chance!). It was quite lively but not packed, and we got a table more or less straight away, but after that it went down hill, it took ages to get our order taken. Bar Lobo could take a few lessons from Inopia on what it means to provide good service.
You can not book, so it is all about timing. We arrived at 7.00 p.m. to be told that it would be a twenty minute wait (what ever they say always wait – have a drink in the rather cramped bar area), we actually got our table in less that 5 minutes.
The menu is tasty and varied, and service is brisk.
The charcuterie is always a good option and they do a nice goats cheese in honey.
The seats are not very comfortable (I guess that is good business practice to ensure a quick turn over), the tables are so close together that you inevitably end up having conversations with the people at the next table, mainly about the food, it’s just that sort of place.
UPDATE – September 2011. Still as good as ever, we sat outside on a warm evening and enjoyed a few old favorites and some tapas dishes I had not had here before. The Ham Croquettes were especially good but the fish plate would have been better with more fish and less apple garnish.