La Barra is an explosion of all the senses that isn’t a strain on the pocket book.
El Bulli influence is everywhere in the Barcelona region.
While some of the El Bulli clan have gone on to create great theatre and micro menus around the world (and especially in Barcelona) it’s so refreshing to have a Michelin star chef create a restaurant where you can actually eat a meal. And what a freaking fantastic meal it is.
Full disclosure: My home is super close to La Barra, so I’ve been a frequent guest in the past few months, and it’s always always always a great experience.
First things first, La Barra is literally a bar. The seating arrangement is surrounding an open middle island with a combination of wood and tile in a classic vintage bar style. There are some normal table seating outside and two tables in the windows framing the main entrance on the inside.
But the show of La Barra is the video wall where you watch what is happening in the kitchen. It is the restaurant expression of Instant and live stories! For one of the few times in the last few years, I actually put my phone down to watch the action the first time, and I still do every time. You never know what you might see, and for me, the passion of that kitchen is literally AMAZING.
That passion really transfers to the meal. Best razor clams in Barcelona. No joke. Incredible paella. Tasty Wagyu beef. And my favourite lobster in Barcelona and one of the best for me in Europe.
The best part? The prices. For tapas, oysters start at 4€, the avocado gazpacho with king crab is only 16€, and Andalusian style Aubergine is 9,50€. For mains, the Shrimp Paella is the same price as crappy Rambla Paella but MILES and MILES better than the tourist version. Common Lobster for 12 per 100g is a real affordable price for the quality La Barra provides.
What I truly love is the fact that the maestro himself, Carles Abellan, is frequently at La Barra, walking around and greeting clients and asking about their experience. To this day, Carles is so down-to-earth, friendly and truly engaged with the people around him. It’s such a refreshing change from many chefs with Michelin stars in their pocket.
Oh hey, speaking of experiences, don’t be freaked out by some guy’s voice speaking to you when you go into the restrooms. His name is Eugenio… and he’s a comedian. There’s a story behind it, but that’s more for another time, like maybe in a feature… oops… I’ve said to much.
La Barra is located across the street from Port Vell, so if you’re from out of town it’s easy access from Eixample, El Born, and Gotico, and a quick walk from the Metro stop.
Next time you’re craving seafood, or paella, or maybe a little wagyu La Barra should be your port of call.