We chose Espana for a nice dinner with out-of-town friends based on good reviews from our friends as well as on-line. I was pleased I could make a reservation, as none of us enjoys standing waiting for a table on a Saturday night. The restaurant was very accommodating when we had to change our arrival time last minute. We started with salads and the Mediterranean antipasti for appetizers, along with a bottle of red wine. Warm bread with a nice dip arrived almost immediately. My husband and I had the fish soup for two--excellent. The broth was just spicy enough (almost tasted Thai rather than Spanish), with a smoothness from coconut milk. One of our guests had striped bass and said her meal was excellent. Her husband didn't fare as well with his paella. It was totally missing the crust that makes this dish so special. He asked if he could have chorizo added to the fish components. The waiter seemed to feel this was a big deal. He cleared it with the chef, then returned to tell our guest that there would be a $3 charge, which was not a problem for us. We tried three desserts--flan, tres leches cake, and tiramisu. All were excellent.
Other than mediocre paella (which should not be mediocre at a Spanish restaurant), our enjoyment was lessened by a very noisy atmosphere. We couldn't hear each other or the waiter. All surfaces in the restaurant are hard, so that sound bounces around. This negatively impacted our experience; we went out to catch up on old times and couldn't really comfortably converse. This is not a place for a 'quiet dinner' or for whispering 'sweet nothings.'
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