El Matador is a new tapas bar that has opened in North Vancouver across the street from Lonsdale Quay. It is a tiny little restaurant with low ceilings and a cozy atmosphere. 4 of us stopped in on a Thursday night around 7:30, without a reservation and were seated within 15 minutes. As it is very small (maybe 28 seats), next time we'll either go down earlier, or make a reservation to ensure that we get in. Service was friendly and attentive, without being overbearing. All the tapas are $5 (Sun - Thur after 9pm, they go down to $3). Our server explained how to order and brought us a small bowl of tasty olives. We ordered a bunch of the tapas to try and favourites included: The crab tapas, carne picada, patatas bravas and the cheese & chorizo puffs. We found that the rustic bread w/ tomato & jambon was nothing special and none of us liked the olive tapenade with anchovy ... way too salty. The sangria was great (though, perhaps a little weak), and we liked it so much we had 2 pitchers. Our only disappointment was that we couldn't get an espresso coffee (only drip) and they didn't have any tea. Total bill for 4 (including one dessert ... delicious rice pudding) was under $80. We'll definitely be back. (I wouldn't recommend it for kids/families)
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