I've been thinking a lot about this and have concluded that, hands down, Zalaya is Eugene's best restaurant -- in every sense of the word "best." They call the cuisine Mediterranean, but really the dual foci here are Spain and Oregon. Zalaya doesn't try to be a true tapas bar, but what its owners have created is somehow more authentic, considering the setting -- more appropriate to Oregon. The menu is judiciously short (there are no weak dishes), seasonal, and locally-focused, taking advantage of the full bounty of the Willamette Valley. Call it Barceloregon cuisine. Or maybe Spangene. Zalaya's Amanida appetizer plate is a great way to start, offering tastes of half-a-dozen stellar tapas. The main courses, especially the paella and lentil gnocchi, are really outstanding. Trust the servers' wine recommendations, too -- they've steered me toward a lot of interesting Spanish wines and ports that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. So far, the only desserts they've offered are a ginger creme brulee and a dense molten chocolate torte; both are good, but not remarkable. But that's a small quibble. If you're looking for a nice night out in Eugene, a great special occasion spot or parents-in-town spot, I couldn't recommend Zalaya more strongly. The setting is lovely, too -- a beautifully restored, century-old house tucked away on a sleepy, leafy street in downtown Eugene. Enjoy.