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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Seattle
Food
Feel
Price
6.0
8.5
$30
Spanish
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Fri 4:00pm–2:00am
Sat–Sun noon–2:00am

Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

www.ochoballard.com

Ballard
2325 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 784-0699
Ocho
They get the taverna part right, if not the actual tapas

Ocho is the kind of fun, cozy corner bar at which you can lose all track of time. Gazing at the rectangular bar with its DIY wine racks, the small partially open kitchen, and the chalkboard of Spanish tapas, it’s easy to forget that if you scooted your chair back too far, you’d end up on drab Market Street.

The tapas menu has so much potential, and although some standards like coca con jamón (similar to pan con tomate with Serrano ham) are perfectly satisfying, many of the selections fall short on authenticity. Patatas bravas, a favorite comfort food (potatoes drizzled in aïoli and a hot sauce that should ideally blend together seamlessly) come out more like fries slathered with competing tartar and tabasco sauces. Generally speaking, if you’ve eaten tapas in Spain, you’ll be disappointed. But Ocho seems to appeal to a predominantly younger crowd that hasn’t yet gotten snobbish about their post-grad year in Barthelona.

The beer list needs a few tweaks—especially on the domestic side. And the wine list is just lazy, way too short. But mixed drinks and sangría are good, and if you lower your expectations a bit on the food, this is a fine place to carouse the night away.

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