My wife and I were on a short vacation and we wanted to fit in as many quality food experiences as possible. Arima was the most memorable.
As you enter you are greeted warmly by Melanie and rest of the front staff. You look around and see the decor you feel as if you are in the home of an eclectic person, full of charm and character. We were going to experience something special. You see mis-matching furniture and odd antique fixtures. There is perfection in the imperfections. Music is curated by the staff where they play everything from Dr Dre to Manu Chau to Marvin Gaye. It's a hip vibe. We saw large groups, deuces, young, old, travelers, locals, really a bit of everything. Staff is friendly, they hustle around like worker bees, making sure guests are taken care of. Hospitality is big here. Wines Melanie recommended were from small Spanish vineyards.These were unadulaterated, pure and clean.
On to the best part....Chef's Adam and Doris is doing something very special here, executing dishes that have several dimensions of flavor, temperature and texture. Plated rustic on one of a kind, hand crafted plates, these dishes showcase fresh Basque ingredients with a Cali flair. Fresh pasta, homemade biscuits, the freshest seafood out of the Bay and a classic juicy cheesburger.
Don't leave without ordering:
-Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, Blue Cheese and Coddled Egg, Adam grew up eating this, his Grandmother's recipe with his personal twist
-Prawns as big as a a my arm, an unctuous Asian sauce over rice, peel and eat with your hands
-Pasta, try any, he changes them often, they are fresh, we had the squid ink
-Razor clams, sweet crispy with a tangy butter sauce
-Grilled sardines a la puttanesca, fragrant and briney
-Cheeseburger, iberico fat fries. Ask them to save you one on your reservation, they sell out. Word is a restaurant will open dedicated to a their burgers alone. It's that good.
-House made biscuits and ice cream with berries, Chef Doris makes awesome deserts
My simple assesment of the place, just straight-up honest, well-made, delicious fxxking food, made from the soul, arima....
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