Spanish tapas have a rich and fascinating history dating back to ancient times in Spain. Originally, tapas were simple snacks served alongside drinks at bars, meant to keep the dust and flies out of people's drinks. They were typically served on small plates or bowls, hence the name "tapas," which comes from the Spanish word "tapa," meaning lid or cover.
Over time, tapas evolved into more elaborate dishes, often featuring a variety of meats, cheeses, and other ingredients. In modern times, tapas can be found in restaurants and bars all across Spain, and they have become an integral part of the country's culinary culture.
But how did tapas make their way from Spain to the United States? In the 1980s, tapas bars started popping up in cities like New York and Los Angeles, introducing Americans to the delicious and diverse world of Spanish tapas. These American tapas bars often feature a mix of traditional and modern tapas dishes, reflecting the diversity of the Spanish culinary tradition.
While American tapas may differ from their Spanish counterparts in some ways, they still retain the spirit of the original tapas experience. In Los Angeles, two great places to experience this spirit are Dono and Manchego. Both of these restaurants offer a wide variety of delicious tapas dishes, that can suit different tastes. It's fun to go with a big group so that you can try many different things off of the menu.
At Dono, the seafood paella is a must! They also offer delicious croquetas and bravas tots. At Manchego, you can't go wrong with their bacon mac & cheese, jamon wrapped dates, or burrata beet sald.
So the next time you're in the mood for a taste of Spain, head to one of these LA tapas bars and sample some of the delicious and diverse flavors of Spanish cuisine. Whether you're a fan of traditional dishes like cured meats and cheeses, or you're looking to try something new and modern, there's something for everyone when eating tapas.