It was probably unfair to visit Cafe Ba Ba Reeba two days after returning from munching on tapas prepared by three of the finest chefs of Spain — Alfonso Beltran, Paxti Bergara and Jose Manuel Crespo. Crespo, for one, has published a book on the elevation of the traditional Spanish tortilla de patatas and its many variations, and Begara, for another, has won a “Best Tapas” award in Spain. All of them dazzled the crowds at the CIA’s World’s Of Flavor Conference with an array of small plates you usually won’t find outside of San Sebastian.
But with tastes sharpened and senses heightened, we kept an open mind and went to the Fashion Show Mall last week for a lunch of small plates — as opposed to a small plate lunch. And what we found was food as solid as it has always been at this Lettuce Entertain You outpost.