Tapas at the beach? New restaurant brings Spanish flair to Pismo – The Tribune

Tapas at the beach? New restaurant brings Spanish flair to Pismo – The Tribune

Gather with old friends – or make new ones – at La Bodega Tapas.

Since opening in April 2018, the Pismo Beach restaurant has been well-received thanks to its Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu, a celebration of local ingredients and accomplished service.

Brought to life from a former bank, La Bodega presents an ambiance that’s both cordial and casual.

Patrons can settle into the sleek dining room or grab a seat at the bar. Expansive windows surrounding the ground floor and much of the second provide plenty of natural light to the high-ceiling interior.

A partially open kitchen offers glimpses of the well-tuned culinary team — and, yes, they can often be spotted darting in and out of a vault. The bank fixture was retained to serve as the restaurant’s distinctive walk-in refrigerator.

La Bodega is the first restaurant venture for owners Teresa Cordeiro and John McCartney, but their gracious personalities ensure a convivial experience.

Roasted root vegetables with grilled seasonal root vegetables, chipotle aioli and artichoke dip from La Bodega Tapas, a new Pismo Beach restaurant specializing in Spanish-style tapas. Photo by Joe Johnston 02-01-19
Joe Johnston [email protected]

Cordeiro, a nurse practitioner, left a previous career in retail to open the restaurant — but only after she talked McCartney, a former hardware engineer, out of retirement to join her.

In creating La Bodega, Cordeiro sought to suggest the essential European concept of getting together to share food, especially in Spain. She also wanted to evoke memories of her childhood.

“I grew up with a garden, always eating fresh food that my mother prepared,” she recalled. “Every meal was a feast simply because my family was gathering together and sharing our time.”

To head up the kitchen at La Bodega, Cordeiro and McCartney tapped the considerable talents of executive chef Fernando Rodriguez. A native of Uruguay, his experience spans intimate fine dining and corporate cuisine.

Rodriguez relishes using his classical training to elevate quality local ingredients, not overpower them.