Last week my close friend Blossom had a showcase at the RAW artist exhibit. We all hopped along to show our support and afterwards, wandered through the valley for a bite to eat.
Garthritis recommended we try Toro Bravo because he had heard of their Thursday night sangria and paella special. At $45 for your choice of 2 paella and a jug of sangria, we honed in on that option.
I had been to Hotel Bravo when it was a BBQ house and we enjoyed our meal there. It has since changed to focus on a Spanish theme but steaks still feature heavily on the menu.
Two paella plates might seem like a lot of food but it's definitely not enough for 5 hungry individuals, including 3 boys with big appetites. We chose a selection of tapas to round out our meal.
Red wine sangria
Our sangria was brought out first. We ended up buying a second jug because our waitress suggested one might not be enough. Two ended up being excessive for us on a school night so we had left over sangria by the end of the meal.
The first of our food took a while to be brought out but once the plates started coming, they kept coming.
Turkish pide with eggplant dip and taramasalata
The toasted pide was nice and hot, served with a duo of dips. I liked the taramasalata best and I have a feeling the rest of the group felt the same because soon there was no trace of pink on the platter.
Sauteed field mushrooms
I was very impressed with the field mushrooms. On first appearances it just looked like a plate of salad but I dug around and found actual mushroom pieces and they were juicy and delicious.
Crisp fried calamari
The fried calamari was a tad dry and chewy but the batter was crunchy. Garthritis commented that he doesn't normally like calamari but enjoyed this dish.
Lamb and haloumi skewers
The lamb and haloumi skewers sounded good in theory but in hindsight it's something we could have easily made at home. They tasted ok, slightly over cooked but nothing special. This was probably the most overpriced item we ordered.
Chicken and chorizo paella and baby octopus and eggplant paella
The paella was what I was looking forward to the most. These were served in shallow clay pots rather than paella pans but somehow there still managed to be a slight crust. Both paella were chockas with ingredients and had a decent flavour.
We enjoyed our meal at Toro Bravo. The dishes were pretty good as a whole but the paella was the best value. I would have preferred them to be crustier but they were still tasty.