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“Exciting new eatery in downtown Santa Fe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Taberna La Boca

Taberna La Boca
150 Washington Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
+1 505-988-7102
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Ranked #65 of 482 Restaurants in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Tapas, Basque
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Santa Fe, NM
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Exciting new eatery in downtown Santa Fe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I've been to La Taberna twice in as many weeks. Great tapa and light lunch offerings. The apple soup with sherry was innovative, delicious, and perfect for a rare rainy day in Santa Fe. Other offerings that we indulged included a hearty bean soup, calamari alla plancha, and lady finders for dessert. The staff were very accommodating as we had a toddler with us. He heartily recommends the manchego con membrillo!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    96
    57
    15
    11
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Atascadero, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
“Have a pulse and a desire for casual eats without pretension?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I must admit upfront of my bias that La Boca is my favorite restaurant in Santa Fe and that I've been a loyal patron since it opened its doors. My many experiences over the years at the parent and spawning ground of Taberna have been all great and perhaps I'm just really easy to please. That characteristic of mine my explain my inability to comprehend some of the critical comments I've seen for both establishments over the years.

Perhaps its my preferred style of dining ( I'm a grazer! ), tastes and comfort level in my expectations that always makes me feel so welcome and satisfied after a meal at both La Boca and now Taberna also. I never walk in thinking this is going to be THE most mindblowingly perfect meal in my life, so I'm never disappointed.

I love going to places that encourage conversation, excitement about the food and the community building aspect of people enjoying good food without the stuffiness and false pretension that pervades so many finer dining establishments.

It also could be my burning desire to visit Spain and take in all of its casual, friendly and zest for life people that attracts me to what James Campbell Caruso has created here in Santa Fe. This is an impression and temporary placeholder for my dream trip that I just don't get at the other Spanish restaurants in Santa Fe.

Is it fair of me to place that burden on James and his staff? Maybe not, but they never fail to sate my secret longing for what I expect to find once I do get to Spain.

I can only savor the good times I've had because of my love for great food, wine and the vibrancy of a place that buzzes with others fully enjoying themselves.

Yes, the tables at both places are really close to each other. Yes, the sounds of people chatting, laughing, relaxing and generally being comfortable in their skin is highly evident. I never realized that in these stressed out and disjointed times we live in, that these qualities I strive to find in a place are actually detrimental.

I dined at Taberna on Saturday night with my wife as a treat after putting in major volunteer hours over the last month for one of the presidential campaigns and we found it to be just the ticket. We walked in starving and a bit weary and walked out totally satisfied and reinvigorated.

We sampled from both the happy hour tapas list and the full menu and found all of our selections to be inventive, fresh and presented with the usual attention to detail we've grown to expect. Our wine choices were very good with one bordering on the sublime and frankly, when we go out, we don't break out the calculator or old liquor store receipts to critically analyze what something cost us. We work really hard in our daily lives, and when going out, its all about the experience.

Our tapas included a tuna salad stuffed pimento type pepper and it was a nice starting point for our other choices. The Salmon Ahumado was perhaps my favorite of the night. Another high point was the Chistorra, a basque style sausage that resembled a rustic hot dog in its presentation but supercharged with flavors that no mere hot dog could ever boast of. We did try one of the flat-iron grilled entrees and found it to be nicely prepared, but lacking flavor above and beyond the cabrales butter which it was served with.

The entire evening the team of servers, managers, James himself and the entire staff treated us like friends and for as crowded and busy as it was, I saw and personally experienced the typical professionalism combined with warmth and sincerity I've come to know over the years.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
“Mini Spanish Tapas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

This is the second restaurant for James Campbell who started :La Boca: the best Tapas next to Spain. It's smaller and equally delicious with lower prices and the same quality with a few different items on the menu besides Tapas. Well located near the Plaza and fair prices for such a treat in the USA.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Auburn Alabama
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Really Awful and Loud”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

This place has nothing to recommend it. Oh, the Juan Gil Jumilla with the 300% mark-up was okay, but the food and atmosphere were terrible. Our group of four started out with pork meatballs that had been cooked to leathery flavorlessness. There was a bland, cold Spanish tortilla; a greasy vegetable paella; a very ordinary salad; and some other stuff.

The presentation of the various tapas was oddly timed. One came out, then after much wait, the other six or so all came out at one time. Never seen that in a tapas restaurant before.

It's a small room, so the amplified young duo singing songs about "travelin' on the road" was completely out of place -- right next to our table.

There are dozens of better options in the region. A bottle of wine and take-out from Whole Foods would top this place.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“So disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

We stopped into this small and packed tapas cafe on the recommendation of a local who said she orders take-out lunch there often. I can see why she would recommend it. The food was actually very good. The kitchen is terribly diserved by the waitstaff. Our waiter took 10 minutes to offer us water. The last time we saw him --until he brought the bill--was to deliver the food. I finally got up and re-filled our water glasses myself. They were waaay understaffed, and the waiter was poorly trained. There are too many good choices in Santa Fe for this.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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