Monday

Poor Show at La Paloma

We went for dinner last night - it was a last minute thing as due to one thing and another (lost shoe and bad hair day) we missed our dinner reservations on saturday. So instead we took the kids to our fav family restaurant La Paloma which is in Temple bar.


We had one of our first dates there and it has become an old favorite, a comforter, a home from home. So in we went, in the lashing rain, and grabbed one of the little booths set into the wall at the back of the restaurant.

We were surprised to see how empty it was and mentioned it to the manager, it has been almost 9 months since we were last there and we noticed they'd changed some things - the chatty spanish waitresses were absent, the booths along the window had been replaced with rather plain tables and the usual spanish shouts from the kitchen were no longer, peering in I spotted two rather lost looking asian guys...

We ordered the usual table of tapas that we recommend to everyone and it arrived - covering the table with colour. I realised swiftly it was not just the decor that had changed.

First noted absent was the smells and aromas, then slowly I noted one difference and another. The bread had changed - I would say it was bought in par baked, rustic loaves were now pale french baguette. The chorizo salad (listed and usually with chorizo and butter beans) was limp iceberg lettuce, (yack) chorizo, chalky tinned chickpeas and not a butter bean in sight. The calamari (which I have recommended to many) were rubbery and tasteless... I felt like I had lost an old friend.

We spoke with the manager as we paid our bill and he told us he didn't think they'd last much longer... I have to agree, the interior is gorgeous, the restaurant very welcoming and the location handy for all but the standard of food has slipped big time. It seemed like they were just going through the paces, their location becoming more and more a drinking and dancing arena more than a place to hunt out a good restaurant. Temple bar used to be where you'd find gems no matter what you were looking for, food, clothes, music - it was where you'd go for the 'alternative'... now its rife with stag and hen parties and tourists looking for a pint of the black stuff in some sham Irish pub.

La Paloma has suffered because of it, and seems to have already left the building...I used to dream of the food and talk highly of the restaurant to my friends - now I am hoping none of them take the recommendation...

Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed the outing and we were fed but it left us with a bad taste in our mouths and a sadness in our hearts...

1 comment:

Ciara said...

Ah no! I hate when that happens.

I have fond memories of one particular visit there one winter evening about eight(!) years ago, meeting my entire family there, and having a gorgeous and memorable meal. My abiding memory is of tiny Ru and Finn in colourful layers of winter woolies, like two little elves, running hand in hand down the dark cobblestoned street in the wind. Everyone stopped and smiled.
And look at them now! sniff...