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“Tapas are OK, wine list is nice ”
Review of El Matador - CLOSED

El Matador
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

We visited this restaurant on a rainy day. The location is not easy to find. The food was good but they ran out of items just after opening. Not good planning as they have a limited menu anyway. Most of the dishes we tried were tasty and presented in a tapas fashion on small plates. I would give it a try again if I was in the area.

Thank Joel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (34)
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13 - 17 of 34 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2014

According to their website, the restaurant is under the Starbucks. NOT. It's under a little indie coffee shop, entry on the back side. When I brought it up to the wait staff, they just shrugged and said "yah, the owner hasn't changed that". Service was good, but food not so much. The Serrano ham was tasty with the little garlic bread toasts, the cheese puffs were dense and needed some brightness, the garlic prawns weren't garlicky, but were cooked well, not overcooked, and the patatas bravas was unlike any I've ever seen in Spain. Not good, I believe they were hash browns in a former life. Sangria was just ok, I asked about padron peppers on the menu, the waiter never heard of them... Very small space. Really wanted to like it, but afraid we won't be back.

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1  Thank Ecowoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2014

We have eaten here several times over the last year. It's one of our favourites, but I can't quite give it a higher rating because of the service (or lack of it) we have experienced. Some nights it's been good, others well below adequate.
First, the food: consistently excellent. Patates bravas, chorizo, crab, signor Serrano - all leave us wanting more every time we go. Love the wine selection and pairings. You can eat a little or a lot, and it's perfect for sharing.
Atmosphere: feels like a hobbit residence. Cramped, tiny, dark....but it's cozy on a rainy night and if you're with a group of friends (and there's room), it's fun. Not the place for an intimate conversation - your elbows are practically in your neighbours' dinners. But it can be fun chatting with complete strangers.
And the service.....sometimes it's been fine. Mostly though, it's been unimpressive. Lost reservations (for a birthday party no less), slow and inattentive (35 minute wait for the bill), spilled drinks....we've had it all. Last time we went early, the restaurant was empty, so we were told "sit where you want".....then ended up moving 3 times because they forgot those particular tables were reserved in an hour. Nothing enough to ruin our dinner, just leaves us annoyed.
So we go back - frequently - because the food is fabulous. But we go early and never on a weekend because it seems like anytime the place is more than 3 tables full, the servers can't handle it. Disappointing. Sure. But with great food and good value we are determined to overlook the service - or lack of it!

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Thank VancouverHolidaymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014 via mobile

The service was fine, not amazing. It's a fine little spot, the tapas is a really good concept, but unfortunately they need a different chef. The food is very bland. If they made these small dishes with explosive flavour, then the place could really improve. Too bad

1  Thank Nik C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

I found a Groupon of this restaurant and decided to try it since North Van is an unexplored territory for my husband and I and I am easily lured by Spanish tapas. After purchasing the Groupon, I have read not-so-great reviews of El Matador but we still ventured out to North Vancouver on our anniversary night with our fingers crossed. Surprisingly, we had such a great time. The cozy yet trendy space gave a good atmosphere to the diners and the tapas we ordered were all delicious. I washed down my food with my perfectly chosen (by our server of course) sherry flight. I felt like this nice little tapas place deserve a lot more credit.

Thank GK L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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