Espana is a cozy Spanish restaurant in the West End offering rustic, authentic Spanish cuisine.
It seemed like for the longest time the only place downtown to go for Spanish tapas was La Bodega and quite frankly, it may be past its prime. Then came along the Sardine Can in Gastown for something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
Espana offers new world tapas in a chic but relaxed setting. The restaurant is on the small side with limited seating, but this adds to the cozy atmosphere. They have a wide selection of Spanish beer and wine and a extensive list of daily specials. We ordered several dishes including the chorizo plate, octopus, blood sausage, beet salad, ham croquettes, braised shortrib, and maybe others that I am forgetting. All of the food was fantastic and I was left pretty full with no room for dessert.
At around $45 dollars per person including liquor, tax and tip, I found the value to be quite reasonable especially considering the quality of ingredients. The service was very friendly and prompt. The manager (possibly the owner?) was also very friendly and ensured that everything was to our satisfaction.
Overall, my experience was great and I would definitely return.
Disclaimer - I am no expert or foodie or whatever - just know what I like and rarely score anything higher than a 3 (solid) unless I am, like, totally wowed and blown-away (rare) - so I give Espana a solid rating and recommend it highly. Enjoyed the food - tried various tapas (nice portions); enjoyed most, but a few were average. On the whole - GO - you will enjoy it. And very well-priced. Our meal - several tapas and a glass of wine each - came to about $80.00. Great deal.
I'm of Spanish heritage so I was excited when I was introduced to a new spanish style tapa's place in Vancouver. First off, the "morcilla" (spanish style blood sausage) is outstanding - made in house but very close to the real deal. I'm not a huge fan of the paella though, mind you it's a difficult dish to make if your not doing it from scratch and have to watch your ingredients and portions because of cost. But over all the menu is very good and the food is complimented with a good assortment of Spanish beers like Alhambra or wines from varying regions. Also, the specials seem to change often and you get to try something new when you visit - like rabbit leg confit, battered and deep fried. Sound good... it is. My favorite tapas place right now.