Although Curt and I have been to La Rambla countless times, I must admit that I have never had one of their Platos Principals or their renowned Paella. Without shame, I admit that we never get past the tapas.
Housed in an historic building on trendy 3rd Street in McMinnville, La Rambla artfully merges Northwest ingredients with Spanish cuisine. Owner Kathy Stoler took the run down building through its renovation in 2002 and has done an artful job in the results. And I mean that literally… from the hand blown lights that hang down over your table to the original artwork lining the walls to the peacock on the bar. She has also directed the menu since its opening.
We enjoy going to La Rambla with a group so that we can order more tapas. The idea of tapas-small plates- is from Spain; I heard once that it was so you could rest your plate on top of your wine glass so you could eat while milling around the bar. Don’t worry, La Rambla serves its tapas on a table, but as we order them family style, there is a conversationality about the food that is hard to get when you each have one entree to eat. We usually have each person order one hot and one cold tapa, which means we end up with some vegetables and some meat dishes. The bacon wrapped dates, the endive salad, the battered green beans (Curt eats this… a vegetable!) are some of my favorites. The tenderloin skewers and jumbo prawns are some of Curt’s favorites. I did order the Dungeness crab and goat cheese stuffed peppers once, but the goat cheese (which I do love) overpowered the crab (which I do love) and now I stick with the crab and shrimp cakes.
You can make your own meal out of La Rambla’s tapas (or go ahead and order a Platos Principal) any day of the week. They are open from 11:30-2 for lunch and start dinner service at 5, except Saturday and Sunday when they serve all day long. They are located at 238 NE Third Street in McMinnville and you can make your reservations by calling 503.435.2126.