Just as I was tempted to add another star for the friendly waiter, the flamenco, decor and sound tapas, I remembered the flat screen t.v. and the desserts. This is really too bad for a place with such potential and the obvious financial backing to be a real rock star.
I took my boyfriend to Andalucia for dinner as a surprise when I learned of the weekend night flamenco. We are both flamenco aficionados and love Spanish cuisine. We were enamored with the place upon entry; with the dark woods in dim light and photos of Andalucia. A mural of a bullfighter covers the entire back wall. Then, it jumped out: the t.v. It glared at me, taunting me with garish smirks at destroying the ambiance of my chosen date spot. I can almost hear Nafaa installing it as an afterthought - ""hmm, but Texans must have t.v."" Please give us some credit.
The menu features all of the staples of a classic Andalucian taverna. Given the reviews, we decided to forgo the sangria and ordered a nice, reasonably priced Monastrell that was a pleasant surprise in it its full body. We begin with a round of tapas: croquetas de pollo, gambas al ajillo y albondigas. These are the three dishes that must be tested at every Spanish taverna. The croquetas, gambas and albondigas provide a foundation upon which all Spanish cuisine must be built.
Here, Andalucia did not disappoint. Each dish was traditional, delicious and with generous portions. I also enjoyed the Moroccan influence in the albondigas. The portions were surprisingly so generous that we did not end up ordering paella as intended.
Our waiter never pressured us to order more. He was amiable, swift and apologetic when a particularly large table of obnoxious women monopolized his affections. When we asked for bread to properly soak up the sauces of our dishes, he was happy to oblige. In fact, he seemed to understand that this was essential to fully enjoying gambas al ajillo!
As the flamenco was wrapping up, we decided to head out but still entertained the dessert menu. As a former pastry cook, I *always* hear out the dessert menu. Our options were flan, crème brûlée and ... wait for it...cheesecake? We just laughed. ""You need to get a Spanish grandma back there,"" I told the waiter. Such atrocities are the very reason Americans do not acknowledge the glories of Spanish pastry. Could they not at least call it 'crema catalana' instead of crème brûlée?
A word of advice to Andalucia: give me a call. I'll create a Spanish dessert menu for you and gladly teach all of your line cooks to make them. They are simple, classic and heavenly. Trust me, your cooks will like me and your customers will thank you. Until then, I will prefer to stay at home for Spanish food, even though I have to settle for recorded flamenco, just so that I can conclude my meal with a proper crema catalana.
In a nutshell, if you have never been to Spain you will love this place and if you actually like Mi Luna, please, God help you, come here instead.
Pros: Flamenco, traditional dishes, decor
Cons: random t.v. and dessert menu