L'ou Com Balla is a fairly small restaurant on a narrow street near Jaume I metro station. The owner and staff are all members of the same family, and they're all really helpful and friendly. We ate there quite late, around 11pm, so there were only two other tables occupied, but as it's small the restaurant still felt busy with a great atmoshphere. They were playing great jazz music in the background which added to this. The place is lit dimly but warmly, so it's quite dark but very inviting.
The menu is big and very varied, with plenty of meat, fish and vegetarian choices. The prices are fairly high but still reasonable, say 15-20 Euro for a main dish. The chef tends to use odd ingredients together, the main one we noticed being chocolate! I really fancied the pasta with mushrooms and chocolate, but this had run out so I chose pasta with provolone cheese and caramelised onions instead. When it came out it looked like the tiniest portion ever, but it was absolutely delicious and if I'd had loads of the stuff it would've probably been quite sickly, so I filled up on the delicious bread instead.
My boyfriend chose a skewer of monkfish, baby mozzarella and strawberries with a white chocolate and ginger sauce. This sounds quite horrid but he said it was one of the best meals he'd ever had! I tasted the sauce and it was unusual but the flavours worked well together. We also had a bottle of 2006 Rioja which was pretty reasonable in price and delicious, if a tiny bit too cold.
So the food and drink was excellent, but what really made this place for us was the service. The waiter was so attentive and friendly, and we ended up talking to the owner's brother (that waiter's Dad) for about half an hour after our meal, who was an amazing guy. They really made an effort to welcome us to the place, and we'd definitely go back!
One thing - like many restaurants, they will automatically give you bread then you will be charged for it at the end, but at least they gave us a basket of the stuff rather than one tiny roll each for about 4 Euro as we experienced elsewhere! And it was good bread, mmmm.
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