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VIDEO: Bar Pintxo’s happy hour in Santa Monica flows with Spanish flair

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Bar Pintxo is an authentic Spanish tapas bar one block from Santa Monica beach.
Bar Pintxo is an authentic Spanish tapas bar one block from Santa Monica beach.

Did you know a little taste of Spain exists on the oceanside streets of Santa Monica?

Bar Pintxo, a Spanish tapas bar, is located a block away from the Pacific waves and is likely to transport each of its customers to a land 6,000 miles away with its exclusively Spanish wine/beer list and relaxed atmosphere.

Best of all, Bar Pintxo offers a happy hour deal that makes for accessibility and affordability to authentic Spanish tapas.

General manager Matt Simms said the bar had many loved menu items.

“As far as our food options, the calamar (calamari) a la plancha is probably our most popular,” Simms said. “We don’t deep-fry our calamari; we sear it on a flat top. The sauce we use is made of butter, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley.”

The calamar a la plancha is accompanied by other mouthwatering tapas like the chorizo y patatas a la riojana (fried potatoes, chorizo, red wine sauce), the brocheta de buey con valdeon (filet mignon skewers with blue cheese), the albondigas con mojo verde (lamb meatballs with cilantro pesto), and more – all for $6 each during happy hour.

Simms said his personal favorite tapas is the empanadilla del dia, which is a pastry filled with the chef’s daily inspiration.

“The ingredients change every day, but I really like when it’s made with the braised pork shoulder,” Simms said. “The empanadilla comes served with homemade garlic aioli.”

The sangria tinta (red wine, brandy, triple sec, spiced simple syrup, market fruit).
The sangria tinta (red wine, brandy, triple sec, spiced simple syrup, market fruit).

When it comes to drinks, Bar Pintxo is of course true to its Spanish roots and is well-known for its sangria.

“Our house made sangria is our most popular drink for sure,” Simms said. “We have both red (tinta) and white (blanca) sangria, and we put a lot of love into it. Rather than adding a bunch of sweetener and syrup like most other places do, we let the alcohol sit in the fruit for a minimum of 24 hours to fully extract the sweetness of the fruit and really allow all the flavors to blend together.”

The sangria tinta (red wine, brandy, triple sec, spiced simple syrup, market fruit) and sangria blanca (white wine, gin, triple sec, mint-infused simple syrup, market fruit) are $8 during happy hour, with half- and full-pitcher sizes available as well.

Also available during happy hour is the “6 Pintxos for $6” deal, which features small snacks to mix and match from, including conserved mussels, serrano ham, albacore tuna, morcilla sausage, and more.

Various beers, cocktails, and drinks are on the happy hour menu as well and are priced from $4 to $10. From Alhambra beer to the Barcelona gin and tonic, every drink is reflective of the Spanish theme of the bar.

Simms said the bar’s Spanish nature was the number one reason why he enjoys his job.

“My favorite part is probably all of the Spanish food,” Simms said with a laugh. “I have a strong affinity for Spain, having traveled there extensively. I love the atmosphere there. I’ve also lived in Argentina for six months, and so I love Latin culture and cuisine and music. It’s been a great fit for me.”

Happy hour runs Tuesday through Friday from 12 pm to 6:30 pm, and all night on Monday.

Bar Pintxo is located at 109 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information, call 310.458.2012 or visit barpintxo.com.

• Do you have a story idea or news tip? Contact Corina Mun by email at corina@smmirror.com.

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