Two Dazzling Meals: Aïoli Bodega Española and Tuli Bistro

Posted on July 1

It’s easy to get caught up in new-restaurant fever and forget about the more well-established eateries in town that consistently crank out excellent cuisine. But two restaurants that shouldn’t drop off any food-lovers’ list are Aïoli Bodega Española on the corner of L and 18th streets; and bustling little Tuli Bistro on the corner of S and 21st streets.

I recently enjoyed fantastic meals at both restaurants. At Tuli Bistro we devoured a sprightly, refreshing salad of foraged greens, which included crunchy fiddlehead ferns and wild arugula; and a garlicky, pancetta-dotted broccolini and chicken pizza. The whole Mediterranean sea bream, roasted right in front of us in the pizza oven, was wonderfully moist and served simply with melty-soft caramelized onions and fresh vegetables.

The undisputed showstopper of the week was Aïoli’s dazzling Paella Valenciana, served up in a large, sizzling black skillet and crammed full of shrimp, mussels, calamari, chunks of chicken and tender pork spareribs - all atop crusty saffron rice laced with carrots and peas. The dish, prepared for two diners, is one of the best (and most exciting!) entrees on Aïoli’s tapas-dominated menu. The meal was further enlivened by a plate of the kitchen’s warm Portobello de la Moda – a succulent grilled Portobello mushroom topped with olive oil and feta cheese; and the brightly-flavored Betabel salad, featuring beet and orange slices with red onions and olives, all gently tossed in olive oil and fresh citrus juices.


Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


54th Annual Crocker Ball

54th Annual Crocker Ball

Published: Thursday, February 4, 2016