La Bodega Tapas Bar
- Box office 0141 581 3401
- General enquiries 0141 581 3401
- Opening times Mon & Tue 5–11pm; Wed noon–11pm; Thu, Fri & Sun noon–midnight; Sat 10.30am–midnight.
- Bar open Mon–Wed 4–11pm; Thu/Fri noon–midnight; Sat 10.30am–midnight; Sun noon–midnight.
- Food served Mon–Wed noon–10.45pm; Thu/Fri noon–11.30pm; Sat 10.30am–midnight; Sun noon–midnight
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sun 5–7pm
- Average price £9 (set lunch); £15 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £9
- Website www.labodegaglasgow.com
La Bodega has to be one of the most surprising restaurants in Glasgow. That it exists at all is the inital shock, nestled as it is among the industrial landscape of warehouses, cranes and showrooms next to the Clyde, way out west past Whiteinch. With no people around on foot, it's equally surprising to find the place cheerily busy on a weekend lunchtime with a mix of families, couples, and several people in legwarmers – explained by the associated dance studio upstairs, which contributes a regular lively buzz and bustle as classes swap and folk linger for a drink and a snack. This is no place for finicky diners who like matching crockery because almost nothing matches here, from the ragbag furniture to the precarious-looking fixtures. There's a wobbly bar, a dancefloor and an instrument-packed stage for the regular live performances that can get the place jumping. It all contributes to a warm, easy-going and slightly offbeat vibe.
La Bodega is one of those rare Glasgow tapas bars actually run by a Spaniard – from Gran Canaria in this case. The owner also heads the kitchen, sending out a range of consistently enjoyable tapas in various sizes: a 'per bowl' serving or a bigger 'portion', with several available as a 'meal' with added carbs or salad. Seafood options include marinated anchovies, squid and 'fishchips' – lightly battered whitebait. The benchmark patatas bravas are good but there's better in the unusual Canarian wrinkly potatoes with a tangy coriander and red pepper sauce for dipping. The tortilla is a winner, fresh and nicely balanced, while a tasty stew packed with chicken pieces and chunky vegetables in a sweet Mango sauce is good if a little short on meat. There may not be many reasons to be in this part of town but La Bodega is worth the wander to experience its quality Spanish food and unique atmosphere.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Sited incongruously on industrial South Street, La Bodega lives and breathes proper Spanish culture. Not just a tapas bar, but a thronging place for dancers, musicians, hipsters and food-lovers. The interiors are not so much designed as assembled using whatever works, with more emphasis on the stage and dance floor than the spray of mis-matched tables. But it all sits perfectly within a remit that revels in the vibrancy and communality of rural Spain where food is but a set-up for the evening’s dance, fun and entertainment. The menu has three choices – tapas (small), portion (mid), and meal (with rice, chips or salad) – with the accent on sumptuous home cooking. Patatas bravas rises above the ubiquitous staple by keeping the potatoes dry and crunchy, delivering a hit of chilli on every mouthful. Aubergine topped with mozzarella and roasted peppers is rich, gooey and filling, while chicken and chorizo is sparkling with fresh harmonious herbs. La Bodega is always thriving to the pulse of soulful Spanish tunes and an adjoining dance studio spawns enthusiastic participants for the many evenings of music and salsa. A real experience.
- High point: The lively ‘back to basics’ spirit is incredibly good fun
- Low point: Back to basic toilets not so much fun
- Notable dish: Mellanzane a la mozzarella
'Glasgow's little hidden gem'
- Authentic Spanish tapas: Spanish-owned
- Live music and dance performances every week
- Tango salon every Thursday and salsa club every Friday (free entry)
- Live music every Sunday from 3.30pm followed by open mic & jam session
- Children welcome until 10pm (under 8s at management's discretion after 8pm).
Text supplied by third party.
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Jazz, latin samba, Spanish pop
- Live entertainment: Resident musicians, regular open mic, live reggae, latin jazz and street dance performances
- Capacity: 90
- Largest group: 150
- Open since: 2009
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 6
- House wine: £15.90 per bottle
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