Saddened by the thought that I will never be able to visit the now closed El Bulli, I searched for the next best thing (at least one of them). The first stop on my culinary adventure began with Dos Palillos located in the Casa Camper Hotel. The creation of Albert Raurich, who from 1999 through 2007 was the chef de cuisine at El Bulli, along with head chef Takeshi Somekawa, explore the similarities and intersections between Spanish and Asian cuisines while using mostly traditional cooking methods. The name – which means “two toothpicks” – is itself a play on these commonalities, where the toothpick is commonly used for eating Spanish tapas and chopsticks used with Asian cuisine.
The restaurant’s layout also plays on the Asian/Spanish theme, with the front area being more of a typical looking Spanish bar and the back room housing an Asian inspired food bar with open kitchen. I personally am a huge fan of open kitchens. There is nothing I love more than watching a skilled chef prepare my dish and then place it in front of me with pride. It just makes it that much more tantalizing.
Everything we ate was a knock out and left us yearning for more. The standouts were the Japanese Burger, Crispy Wontons and Fluffy Almond Sponge Cakes which collapsed into the smallest bites upon entering our mouths . Although, it was quite interesting being served the ingredients to make my own sushi and then expected to do so. But I must say that I did enjoy it and it made the meal that much more playful.
Dos Palillos is just a hop, skip and a jump off of Las Ramblas. I highly recommend it, especially if you have an inner child that likes to ‘play with your food’ because here.. you are encouraged to do so. Bisous NYS