Almost as soon as Bull-eh-Dia's is in sight, the vibrant Spanish music playing over the loudspeakers (with a few modern tunes like Shakira and Wyclef's "Hips Don't Lie" mixed in) can be heard. The lively atmosphere may make this tapas bar a poor choice for hung-over Sunday brunches, but otherwise creates an enjoyable dining experience. Mosaic tiles on the tables, earthy browns and reds on the walls and bartenders cutting fruit for sangria at the bar add to the feeling that you are in for an authentic Spanish meal. Although small, the place is set up to accommodate large groups with ample bench seating and a second floor that, although much more sparsely decorated, is ideal for private parties.
The two-sided menu gives diners plenty to choose from, including staple tapas like patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), queso de cabra (baked goat cheese) and gambas al ajillo (shrimp in olive oil and garlic). If you're feeling a little more adventurous, go for the datiles rellenos de queso con tocino (bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese) or the pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus).
Tapas range from $4-$12 and are supplemented by a few paellas and salads. Servings are on the small side; two tapas per person for lunch and three for dinner may still leave room for dessert (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). As far as your taste buds are concerned, the food is good enough to satisfy, but probably won't fool you into thinking you've been transported to Barcelona.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Erica Walkup