4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

La Gran Tapa

Image by Chris Woo
Place

La Gran Tapa

611 B Street, San Diego

Established in 1984 by restaurateur and bullfighter Paul Dobson, La Gran Tapa was the first dedicated Spanish tapas bar in San Diego. Seven owners later, the Sicilian proprietor of the Turquoise Café in Pacific Beach, Basilio Ceravolo, took over in 2007 and added some Mediterranean flair to the menu of over 50 organic tapas ($3–$14) as well as four types of absinthe ($7–$9), which are served in the “Bohemian method” by dropping a flaming sugar cube into the spirit.

Now you can catch live music any night of the week, ranging from flamenco to blues, samba, rumba, Balkan folk, world, and jazz. The bar offers an extensive selection of wine and beer, which are best sampled at the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday) for $3 a drink to accompany a list of $3 tapas. Be aware that 17.5 percent gratuity is added to every bill. Any additional tips go to the band.

On a recent visit, tables were cleared away after dinner as the crowd danced to latin/reggae band Todo Mundo. An Uruguayan friend and I watched mystified as a woman with the features of a mythical bird jutted hips and gypsy hands in front of the band. My companion turned to me and said as a way of excusing himself, “She needs a dance partner, mijo.” He arose from our position at the bar and, just like in a scene from Dirty Dancing, the crowd split as he Swayzeed across the dance floor and engaged the avian zingara in a feverish salsa to “El Cuarto de Tula,” which caused the woman sitting next to me to squeal audibly with delight.

“My inspiration and vision...is to recreate the feeling of the small, local bars of southern Europe,” Ceravolo writes on his website. “Places where the people stop and gather, to hear the news, catch up with friends, relax and enjoy a coffee and a fine pastry or a small meal and a glass of wine.”

Service can be difficult on busy nights, but then, this is not the place to go for a quick bite. The leisurely vibe is as much a part of the ambiance as the music, dance, and traditional Spanish decor. Parking is free in the garage two doors to the west with a minimum $20 restaurant bill (otherwise, parking’s $10).

Cover: no
Capacity: ~150
Hours: THURSDAY, 5 pm–11 pm; FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 5 PM–12 AM; SUNDAY, 4 PM–9 PM

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego council seeks real estate expert

To be ready for city hall's next big property snafu
Next Article

Meet a giant pink poodle named after Stevie Nicks

For Halloween, “I’ll be doing her tail and ears orange, like a pumpkin”
Image by Chris Woo
Place

La Gran Tapa

611 B Street, San Diego

Established in 1984 by restaurateur and bullfighter Paul Dobson, La Gran Tapa was the first dedicated Spanish tapas bar in San Diego. Seven owners later, the Sicilian proprietor of the Turquoise Café in Pacific Beach, Basilio Ceravolo, took over in 2007 and added some Mediterranean flair to the menu of over 50 organic tapas ($3–$14) as well as four types of absinthe ($7–$9), which are served in the “Bohemian method” by dropping a flaming sugar cube into the spirit.

Now you can catch live music any night of the week, ranging from flamenco to blues, samba, rumba, Balkan folk, world, and jazz. The bar offers an extensive selection of wine and beer, which are best sampled at the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday) for $3 a drink to accompany a list of $3 tapas. Be aware that 17.5 percent gratuity is added to every bill. Any additional tips go to the band.

On a recent visit, tables were cleared away after dinner as the crowd danced to latin/reggae band Todo Mundo. An Uruguayan friend and I watched mystified as a woman with the features of a mythical bird jutted hips and gypsy hands in front of the band. My companion turned to me and said as a way of excusing himself, “She needs a dance partner, mijo.” He arose from our position at the bar and, just like in a scene from Dirty Dancing, the crowd split as he Swayzeed across the dance floor and engaged the avian zingara in a feverish salsa to “El Cuarto de Tula,” which caused the woman sitting next to me to squeal audibly with delight.

“My inspiration and vision...is to recreate the feeling of the small, local bars of southern Europe,” Ceravolo writes on his website. “Places where the people stop and gather, to hear the news, catch up with friends, relax and enjoy a coffee and a fine pastry or a small meal and a glass of wine.”

Service can be difficult on busy nights, but then, this is not the place to go for a quick bite. The leisurely vibe is as much a part of the ambiance as the music, dance, and traditional Spanish decor. Parking is free in the garage two doors to the west with a minimum $20 restaurant bill (otherwise, parking’s $10).

Cover: no
Capacity: ~150
Hours: THURSDAY, 5 pm–11 pm; FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 5 PM–12 AM; SUNDAY, 4 PM–9 PM

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gonzo Report: Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Los Straitjackets use music for memory at the Shell

Do people really need to record with their phone up to remember a night like this?
Next Article

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church: to “Come and see” from the Gospel of John

I often start conversations with people at bus stops
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close