Casa Mono has been around for quite some time, but we always perceived it as a high-priced tapas bare where it was difficult to get a reservation without planning weeks in advance. I’m happy to say we were wrong. One trick to be aware of is that they do not list prime time spots on Opentable, but go to the restaurant and voila, tables available on short notice.
As far as prices go, it’s no more than Boqueria, Socarrat or the now-defunct Tertulia, which have been favorites of ours. The quality and creativity of the food, though, is head and shoulders above. We’ve been here twice now, and every dish has been delicious.
On our recent visit, we had lamb belly, goat confit, pork meatballs, and merguez sausage. I can’t recall with certainty what we had the first time, but I’m fairly certain it was baby squid, sweetbreads, cod cheeks, and quail. Four dishes are plenty for two people.
The only disappointment is that they do not have Sangria, which we have always considered a staple of tapas bars. I suspect it is that they can only serve wine and beer, and sangria includes liquor. The all-Spanish wine list is pricey but I ordered the cheapest bottle, BaBeViBoBu 2014, from Valencia, $42 and it was a winner. They obviously know their wines.
Service is efficient but not rushed. Tables are crowded and the noise level can be high, but oh, that food…