Name: Zambra Tapas Bar
Location: 250 Lorton Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010
Even in the most happening of downtowns, Tuesday night date nights can be quiet and unassuming. Such as the case on this particular night, but at least we had our pick of restaurant.
With only two other parties present at the restaurant throughout our meal, it’s safe to say that it was a slow night at Zambra. Letting the date take charge of ordering, we ended up with a varied selection of small plates. And please pardon the picture quality. Dim lighting and iPhone photography are not my specialty.
First up was the Piquillo Pepper (pepper stuffed with shrimp and wild mushrooms with sofrito crema on the side). The peppers were soft, but I found the stuffing to be too mushy for my liking. Without reading the description, it was difficult to identify the shrimp and mushroom filling.
Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes with spice tomato sauce and aioli). Easily the most forgettable dish of the bunch. While the potatoes were crispy, they had little flavor.
Jamón Serrano (serrano ham, grilled asparagus, poached egg). Salty and reminiscent of bacon wrapped asparagus. The date, being a huge jamón fan, was disappointed in the quality of the meat. Sadly, the poached egg went untouched. (I’m usually a poached egg fan, but just wasn’t in the mood for it that night.)
The albondigas (ground lamb and beef meatballs, spice tomato sofrito) were satisfying, but meatballs usually are.
Lastly, the dish I was most excited about made an appearance. The moules frites (mussels, garlic, chorizo, peas, sherry, fried shoestring potatoes) was a large portion and could easily be a meal in itself. However, the mussels were overly chewy and the sauce not as decedent as it could have been.
An after-the-fact check on Yelp revealed that Zambra has an average 3 1/2 star rating. However, most reviewers were disappointed in the tapas offering. Their paella may be worth a try, but based on this experience, I’m not likely to stop by here again.