Advantages Good variety of food, good value
Disadvantages Might be crowded
Bristol's latest branch of La Tasca is on the top level of the spanking new Glass House at Cabot Circus. Two of us had travelled by train and took about twenty minutes to walk from Temple Meads to Cabot Circus. My younger son lives in Bristol and had been able to get a bus right to the shopping centre. On the ground floor of the Glass House a well-informed lady was giving out maps of the centre and answering visitors' questions, so I took a map. One of my sons went bounding up the staircase but I quickly called him back, as I had spotted an escalator that my knees would find much easier. Later, when we were coming back down, we saw that there was a lift which would obviously be helpful for buggies and wheelchairs.As we went up, we had not yet decided where to eat. We spotted Cafe Rouge on Level 2 but decided to have a look at Yo! Sushi on Level 3, as there is no branch in Portsmouth. We couldn't agree unanimously on it, however. Prices were indicated on the front window, but there did not seem to be any way of looking at the menu unless you went inside. None of us had been to La Tasca recently, as one of my sons had experienced poor service at the Gunwharf Quays branch on a couple of occasions. We decided that tapas would make a change, and we thought perhaps service might be better at this particular branch.
There are a few tables outside at La Tasca, and although the Glass House has sections of glass domes, it is open to the elements in places. In spite of it being November, it wasn't particularly cold and some people were sitting at these tables from whence you have a good view of other parts of the mall. We decided, however, to sit inside and were greeted by a lady who spoke extremely quickly with a Spanish accent. It was mid-afternoon, and she wanted to tell us that although she had been run off her feet all through lunchtime, things had now quietened down and she could actually offer us a choice of tables.We chose a table by the wall, and I sat on a seat surrounded by cushions with little space for coats and bags. But it was comfortable. The lighting is low, provided by large rectangular wooden chandeliers with orange light bulbs. Décor was similar to that of Gunwharf's La Tasca, aiming at being rustic but including the odd Picasso print here and there. Music is what one might call typically Spanish - lots of guitar - not really my cup of tea, but I knew what to expect so mustn't complain. The Spanish lady introduced our waiter, who brought menus for us.
One of my sons asked for a Spanish beer which did not exactly wow him. I decided on a glass of Appletiser whilst my other son went for fresh orange juice. We also ordered some mixed green and black olives as a starter. These arrived very quickly in a small earthenware bowl, but we realised that we had no plates yet and therefore nowhere to put the stones. I'm afraid we moved the vinegar and olive oil onto the table and used the plate that they had been standing on.From the main menu we decided on the Selection of Tapas with Meat for two people at £22.
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