Osito Unique Spanish
This restaurant manages to combine two restaurant concepts in one. By day, Osito plays the mild-mannered Clark Kent type with its deli sandwiches and salads, while come nighttime it turns on the super powers with its Spanish-influenced menu of tapas and paella, in homage to Californian chef/owner Billy Bautista’s heritage. The seafood paella and dry-aged tomahawk steak are highly recommended.
German chef Daniel Bucher offers a more serious take on Spanish food than was present in this casual deli-meets-restaurant's earlier days, using as much local and organic produce as possible.
Thankfully, the much-loved Reuben and pastrami sandwiches (both B320/150g, B460/250g) remain on the lunch and dinner menus, joined by Spanish staples like Iberico ham (starting at B550/40g), Iberico ham croquettes (B170), seafood paella (B760) and highlighted charcoal-smoked dishes like dry-aged tomahawk steak (B3,000/1kg), clams (B180) and octopus (B460).
Open from 7:30am as an all-day diner, the breakfast menu features the Shooter’s Sandwich (dry-aged beef steak, mushroom, smoked cheese, onion confit, B220) and duck eggs skillet with toppings like ham, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and fried potatoes (B320) and beef pastrami, sauerkraut, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes and fried potatoes (B350).
The bar serves up a list of fun cocktails made with the house-pour Martin Miller’s Gin and some great beers on tap.
Teaming up with La Monita next door, it also offers the Latin Weekend Brunch from 10am-3pm every weekend, serving Mexican- and Spanish-inspired eggy dishes like eggs Benedict with Spanish and Mexican chorizo and chipotle cream.
BK Food Review ★★
During the day, El Osito serves American deli-style sandwiches and salads in its big, bright mezzanine space. In the evening, the food taps into Californian chef and owner Billy Bautista’s Spanish roots with a menu of tapas and paella. La Monita (Bautista’s excellent Mexican restaurant, right next door) might have raised our expectations, but there’s no denying El Osito is a disappointment. Its Spanish menu hails from a country where simply rubbing a tomato on a piece of bread can often create an incredibly delicious treat. Unfortunately, things just don’t taste the same in Bangkok; there are the vegetables, obviously, but El Osito could source better bread too—you can actually find good stuff in Bangkok nowadays. When grilled, El Osito’s bread becomes dry, without releasing any flavors or aroma; given all the bocatas (B150), pinchos (B80) and American sandwiches on the menu, that’s an issue with half the food we’ve tried here. As a result, we can’t say we enjoyed either the reuben (B270/310) or chicken parmesan (B190). It’s not just the bread, but also the produce. The seafood in the paella (B800), for example, lacks the fresh, salty flavors we expected (and it’s a tad dry). And while we like the plump, fatty texture of the rice, it lacks the oomph of a potent stock—the key to great paella in our book. The same rubbery calamari in a pedestrian batter (calamares a la romana, B180) appears in the tapas menu. We haven’t been thrilled by the salads we’ve tried either: a cobb salad (B220) that seemed to lack any real cheese despite being doused in way too much creamy dressing, and a rather odd Chinese chicken salad (B190) where the greens tasted far from fresh. To add insult, the waiters mostly come across as bored, bordering on surly if you happen to make a special request (the friendly and attentive captain is just the opposite, though). On the plus side, the space is pretty cool and the portions are generous. And to be fair, while El Osito is a letdown (blame some of that on La Monita), the food isn’t terrible. Given the passion and dedication of its owner and chef, it’s unlikely he’ll leave it at that, too, and it will be interesting to see what comes of it in the next few months. Corkage charge B400.
|Address:||Osito Unique Spanish, Mahatun Plaza, 888/23-24 Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9:30am-11pm|
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