If you’re heading into Almeria city this weekend, chances are you are looking forward to sampling some tapas in one of its many bars.
So to make your life easier, I thought I would start my series of bar reviews now (and yes I have been round quite a few, but not all in the four days since I started living here. That would only be, let’s see, four.)
I’m starting with my all time favourite so far, La Mala.
Tucked away on a corner just down from a dodgy array of vending machines(think sex toys, or rather don’t), La Mala to me is the hippest trendiest place in town. Which probably means it can’t be!
It’s named after a ‘bad girl’ character played by Tura Satana in a cult 1965 American movie called ‘Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (I keep meaning to watch it but haven’t got round to it yet) and the menu is presented in a DVD box covered with images from the film.
There is a waiter who looks like an angel (I did rather embarrassingly have my photo taken with him, but it’s really bad, with the embarrassment compounded the next time I went there when Jeanne announced loudly to our companions as we entered, Emma’s in love with that waiter!).
The chef is also a young lad sporting an impressive collection of piercings, and an incredible talent for making the best tortilla I have ever tasted.
The tortillas are their speciality, especially the melt-in-your mouth tortilla de trufa – truffle omelette. If you go there that is a must-have, but the whole menu is delicious and apart from a wide selection of tortillas there is ceviche (raw sea food marinated in citrus juice), tataki tuna, roasted vegetables a la plancha, or pork in honey and mustard, among other delights.
The bar is tiny and very popular, and there are only a few tables along a balcony area up a narrow staircase, so if you want to sit down it’s best to go at lunchtime, or book well in advance for evenings. (You can also book for lunchtimes but if you turn up early on a weekday around 1pm you might get in without booking.)
Even if you can’t sit down it’s still fun to cram into the bar area, have a glass of their excellent wine (or a beer of course) and one of their wide selection of imaginative and good quality tapas.
A free tapa is included with all drinks, including sparkling water, which is quite rare I’ve found. Not that I ever have it, there are too many good wines on offer!
Although the first time I ever went there I probably could have done with the water as it was after a blind wine tasting in another bar further up the street, with Clay and Rachel from the Albar restaurant in El Pilar. https://enalbar.com/
To say we were having a fun night would be an understatement, and in fact it took me quite a few attempts to find La Mala again, owing to slight memory loss, but when I did I was please to find it as good as I thought.
Since then I have been back many times and it never lets me down.
The staff (including the silver-streaked-hair angel waiter) are really friendly and welcoming, and there’s always a good buzz.
All the info:
Address: Calle Real, 69, 04001, Almeria. Tel: 619 350816
Open every day 1-5pm and 8.30pm-1.30am, except Tuesdays when it is closed lunchtime
For up to date information search La Mala Tortelleria in Google.
One of the easiest ways to find it from the Paseo is to turn at the Teatro Cervantes and follow the side street past the Virgen del Mar church and round the corner to the right, then you will come across it.
Or from the port road, turn at the fountain with the fish sculptures on it and go up Calle Real and you will get to it on the right. There is a car park a little further up on the right but it is very tight.
PPS Thanks to Diane LL Henny for the great pictures in this blog