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“Always a favorite in San Diego -can be tough to get there”

Tapas Picasso Spanish Restaurant
Ranked #2,643 of 4,933 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed June 28, 2012

I always love this place. The atmosphere is quaint and fun, the food delicious, the sangria fabulous (seriously, try the sangria). It is tapas -I say this because some how people expect to pay nothing for a bunch of little plates and leave needing a wheelchair because they overate. If you expect to leave as full as one typically does from a restaurant these days, you're going to pay for it -literally. But if you want delicious bites of a bunch of things -a delicious meal that is not over-filling but diverse, Tapas Picasso is the place to go. It's in a part of town without ready access to public transportation, which makes it more difficult to get to. But, the neighborhood is fun and eclectic once you get there so sometimes it's nice to walk around a bit before or after.

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Thank cgflea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 31 of 47 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2012

The only reason why I took a star was because they did not have a dry sherry cold.... how can you be a tapas bar and not have a dry sherry ready to serve nice and cold??? The rest of the experience was pretty good. They should buy their bread from bread and cie which is in front of them though.

Thank Filigaitas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

My wife and I were excited to try this place. It has been around many years, and has been reviewed and complimented many times, so a Friday lunch was in order. The restaurant decor is simple and appealing. When we arrived there was no one but the staff present. Another couple arrived, but we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were warmly greated by the owner and seated by the window. Butcher paper covered the linens (a good thing when I am eating according to my wife). We reviewed the specials and menu while I sipped house wine and my wife her tea. We were aready familiar with the menu which is on line, but the specials attracted our interest.

Tapas were going to be our choices, but there are many to choose from. We settled on two from the specials and one from the regular menu. I haven't had smelt since I was "dipping" for them in the Finger Lakes of New York in the 70's, so that was one of the choices. My wife picked a garlic shrimp from the specials for her choice. The smelt reminded me of my former years, delicately breaded and fried and served with a cocktail type sauce. Not really unique, but I thoroughly enjoyed my nostalgic trip back in time. The shrimp were wonderful! Excellent grade of shellfish with a great sauce served with a small dipping bowl of butter that had a layer of chopped garlic hidden by the yellow, oily liquid. Served on mixed greens and garnished with chopped red peppers. It was so good that when we finished the shrimp I found myself dipping the lettuce in the garlic butter.

The third tapa was off the main menu, at the suggestion of the owner. He said that the Octopus in the Spicy Tomato Sauce was his best seller. Frankly, the description did not sound particularly exciting. Since my wife, unlike me, is not wild about real spicy food she had some concerns. He assured her it was not overwhelming. Well, the description did not do it justice! When it arrived it was served along with a dish of sliced, soft baguette that had one side dipped in crushed, fresh tomato. The owner seved us this tapa and personally instructed us on the proper procedure of enjoying it. Place the bread, tomato coated side down in the sauce, and press on the bread into the sauce "like you really mean it!" Put it on your plate, soaked side up, and spoon on the octopus and sauce. Pick it up and eat it. It is messy, but, as he put it: "nobody is watching." Oh my! I cannot say enough about this dish. If you have a liking for shellfish try this one. Octopus brings, to some, visions of chewy, tough meat. Nothing could be further from the truth with this dish! Needless to say we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. In testimony to my wife's observations over the years, my side of the butcher paper and stained napkin demonstrated my enjoyment of the experience!

As a side note. I walked into the rest room in the rear prior to my meal and peeked into the kitchen. Much to my delight the chef was busy preparing our order. The tapas may or may not be cooked to order, but they are certainly not popped out of a microwave and my short observation gave me great encouragement before the tapas arrived.

We spoke to the staff after the meal, and they said it gets pretty crowded during happy hour and later in the evening, so reservations would probably be a must later in the day and evening especially on the weekend.

About the only negative is that it is a little pricy, but I am willing to pay extra for great food and a great experrience. I would love to "experience" happy hour here. They have specials on drinks and tapas. I will be back!

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Thank BenGruda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

The meals were delicious. We ordered 2 plates each and could have done without the paella (although it was yummy) and the shrimp habanero pasta. Although what we ate was yummy, it could have been more traditionally spanish (more sausage, beef, sizzle options). The wine also was not a great wine, but was our choice so I don't want that to taint the impression.
I would give it another shot :)

Thank JennLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

We went to this small restaurant on a weeknight. It was crowded, noisy, friendly and great fun. The delectable sangria comes by the pitcher-make sure you order it. Choose what looks good, each plate is more delicious than the last, choose a bunch and then share with everyone. We ordered several times and the food just kept arriving. The staff is small and very kind, be patient and enjoy the European pace of service. For 5 hungry adults we spent just over $100.00, next time we will save room for dessert as well. And we were sorry to be leaving town before their Sunday morning champagne brunch-maybe next time we visit?

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Thank NatureMom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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