I was given a complimentary meal for this post, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
I dined at one of the oldest restaurants in the Gaslamp district of San Diego: Cafe Sevilla. I have never been to Spain (on my bucket list) and Cafe Sevilla gave me a glimpse of this beautiful country. There were no medieval towns, beautiful beaches or magnificent churches, but what they did have was super friendly service, superb sangrias, and mouthwatering dishes.
When I walked into Cafe Sevilla I was immediately impressed by the vibrant decor. Every inch of the place was telling a story. I first sat at the bar and the bartender was as friendly as can be. I usually order beer or wine, but took the bartender's suggestion and had something different. I had a Cava Sangria (Sangria + white grape + bubbles) and a Mojito and they were both delicious. I wanted more, but I needed to save room for Sevilla's award winning Classic Red Sangria. The Classic Red Sangria has won multiple awards in San Diego and its recipe is top secret.
I made my way upstairs to the banquet room and the first dish I had with my sangria was the Ahi Tuna Tartare Crudo (Avocado, mango and orange-tarragon dressing). This was such an amazing dish to start off the night. It was light and packed with so much flavor.
A night at Sevilla must not go without the Traditional Paella Valenciana (Mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, prawns, chicken and grilled sausages served over authentic saffron bomba rice). Keep in mind that the paella is completely customizable, so if there is something you don't like or want to add, it's totally doable.
Cafe Sevilla has forty-five different dishes on the menu and offer plates from the entire country of Spain. The dishes aren't limited to just one region, so there are plenty of items to choose from.
After having so many wonderful dishes, I surprisingly still had room for dessert. Master carver Raymond Pereira presented his idea of dessert, which was a free range Iberian ham that was cured for four years. The ham was cured for four years (on average, prosciutto is cured for about eight to eleven months). thus making it less salty and the pig's diet consisted of acorns.
Before I devoured the cured ham, I could smell the nuttiness of it since it was fed acorns. The entire slice of ham melted right in my mouth. It was like one of those listerine strips. I immediately wanted more and had another slice before I made my way back down stairs to the Night Club area for some salsa dancing.
I am the type that usually calls it a night quite early, but a fun night of free salsa dancing lessons sounded like a good way to burn off some of the calories I just consumed. I am not the best dancer, so I was glad that the steps we learned that night were very easy to follow.
Salsa dancing is on Tuesday through Thursdays and on the weekends they have Flamenco Dinner Shows. Their Flamenco dancers are trained in Spain so it's the real deal.
I don't think I've ever been to a restaurant that was as friendly and lively as this one. I have yet to visit Spain and I definitely felt like I got a glimpse and taste of what it would be like. There are a total of three Cafe Sevilla's in California, so now I'm on a mission to visit the other two.
Thank you Cafe Sevilla for a wonderful night of amazing food and salsa dancing.
ADDRESS: 353 FIFTH AVE., SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
HOURS: MON 11:30am – 1am | TUES – FRI 11:30am – 1:30am | SAT – SUN 11am – 1:30am