La Xalada is the brainchild of Isabel Cruz, already well-known on the Barcelona restaurant scene as the owner of Bar Mundial. She is a woman with an intense passion for life, and it shows in her food, by the bucketload. “La Xalada” is a pun on the Catalan verb “xalar,” to enjoy, and “xalado,” meaning mad.
Cruz works traditional Spanish recipes into creative, modern tapas with beautiful flavors and the odd surprise. Las xulas, their version of patatas bravas, are triple cooked with garlic and thyme. The huevos estrellados are made with free-range eggs and a hint of truffle. Ingredients are sourced locally in San Antoni. The tapas are light and moreish. The desserts, homemade. The wine is inexpensive. Even the interior décor makes it worth a visit.
This is something the city needs more of: reasonably priced tapas that will drive you wild.
Update: as of 2017 this restaurant is permanently closed.