On Tapa Sac (Tapa the World - Sacramento, CA)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You can find Tapa the World next door to Kasbah, which shouldn't be surprising as they're both run by the very same Paul RIngstrom and Conni Levis. It's the older sibling to Kasbah, and undoubtedly the original source of its neighbor's popularity.

Tapa the world a Spanish style tapas restaurant that's popular as a late night stop before going out dancing or clubbing on weekends. Since they stay open until midnight, it's also popular for some of those coming home from the clubs as well. Rob and I decided to drop by on a whim for a light dinner earlier on and see if we could grab a table amongst the hustle and bustle of trendy and pretend-to-trendy.

The olives were meaty and salty, just as olive should be. I always hate when an olive dish is pallid and lacking diversity or served in a petri dish that barely satiates one person, but this was a large terra cotta dish filled to the brim with a nice variety of olives. We did have an issue with one of the one pitted variety of olives on the plate. Something was wrong with those, they tasted a little funky and had a sort of mildew taste to it. The others were superb.

The tapa of the night was a delicious shrimp plate with melted butter and sprinkled with black salt and aioli. They were fabulous, salty, and creamy and perfectly cooked so the shrimp was just flavorful and tender. There's also something delightfully barbaric about ripping the heads and shells off of shrimp and devouring them. Loves it.

The kobe beef was gamey and melted in your mouth with a nice full flavor that was helped with a nice blue cheese butter and crispy onions. Though it was a bit overdone, the food was still delicious.

There was a downside in that we were sitting in the courtyard. Here there are pitfalls; be prepared if there happens to be any fire or emergency. Mainly because the sirens' cacophony in that cave will drive you deaf. Also, the table next to us had their table extended for a birthday party which came so close that anyone wanting to get by ended up having sex with our table.

We never once saw our server, that or we had four of them. One took our order, one brought the olives, one brought the food, and the last took the check. No one ever asked how we were or even gave us side plates for bread. We had to stop a girl to get the check. Really, busy or not, it was shoddy service.

All and all, a nice meal, but be seated in the front patio if you can and go on an off day.

Tapa the World
2115 J Street
Sacramento, CA


  1. I had a similar experience at Kasbah... and I know, you should only go there to smoke a hookah. But I wanted food. So our waitress was a total ditz, our food took forever and was pretty bad. I have eaten b'stilla many times in Morocco and Kasbah's version was dry to the point of inedibility. When I mentioned it to the manager, his response was that I must never have had authentic Moroccan food. Had to track down someone to take our money after all that. Never again.

  2. Your service experience was not unique. I've often noticed how Tapas employs the "zone defense" style of serving rather than the traditional "man-to-man". Typically the service is friendly though. And stay away from the food at Kasbah as if it were marinated in plague. No good can come of it.

  3. I guess Kasbah has gone downhill? When I went I loved the food, but service was still kinda shitty. I guess from the e-mails the food is crap now?

    Let that be a lesson to people reading my reviews; pay attention to the date. Things may be different now.

  4. I've been going to Tapa the World for years. The food's always been perfect but for the last 2 years, the service has gotten worse and worse. That's too bad because it's one of the few late night places in the grid to grab a non-fast food bite to eat.

  5. I've been there! Loved the live music. Did they have a guitarist when you went?

  6. We have one tapas bar in Dublin - Havana on Georges Street. Been there twice now. They seem to define tapas as dry crackers with a few slices of chorizo, salami and cheese. Was a distinctly underwhelming experience...

    Service aside, Tapa the World sounds much much better.

  7. The classical guitarist at Tapas is a fixture. A performer is there almost every night. Did I mention to stay away from Kasbah as if your life depended on it?

  8. I went to Tapa the World this weekend and loved it! I'm wondering if their service has taken a turn for the better since your last visit. Have you been back? I'll probably be posting pics on www.Sacfoodies.com soon, would love it if you stopped by to leave your two cents. Thanks!


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