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35 Westow Street
Los Toreros permanently closed in June 2012
After more than a decade, enthusiasm still abounds for this unreformed Spanish party restaurant – a boisterous joint that suits big revelling groups down to the ground. An eccentrically decorated
but surprisingly airy interior, festooned with greenery, plays host to live flamenco evenings & very British Sunday lunches with some cabaret on the side – as well as conventional dinners &
plenty of sociable grazing. Tapas include all the classics – garlicky gambas al ajillo, tortilla, patatas every which way, tuna croquetas with relish, chorizo al vino, tarta di Santiago – & the
cocktail list is vast. Couples get romantic over pans of paella, gourmet burgers are a surprising addition to the list of fortnightly specials, & some of the entertainment is cheesier than an
aged Manchego. Jugs of Sangria & easy-drinking Spanish wines help to keep the good times rolling.
35 Westow Street
Gipsy Hill Station 575m
Crystal Palace Station 690m
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 893m
Crystal Palace Park 1km
Mon-Sun 6-11.30pm Sat-Sun 12N-11pm (Thurs-Fri 12N-3pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
There are two things you should know about me before you read my review. One is I am gluten intolerant and therefore there are some foods that I cannot try myself and the second is that Los Toreros is local to me and therefore I have been many, many times and can vouch for consistency.
Having Spanish relatives and eating authentic tapas regularly as a result, I am very, very picky about tapas in the UK. Usually I avoid these types of restarants as they regularly disappoint (small portions, big prices). However, this place is warm, friendly and I have had some really lovely evenings here listening to live music. An acid test for me is calamares/squid. Usually badly overcooked and verging on rubbery in most places I can safely say that it is good here most of the time. I won't lie, I have had a really bad one here a few months ago when I got 4 little bits of overcooked squid which was very disappointing and put me off ordering it again for a while but generally they deliver. The one dish I am really disappointed with is the Gambas Al Ajillo (Freshwater tiger prawns pan fried in garlic butter). I would contest the description Tiger Prawns and the garlic butter is sizzling hot oil which is very greasy. It is the one dish I won't order. The mussels, sardines and anchovies are good and the lomo a la plancha is one of my non-seafood favorites. I think there is a good selection of dishes on the tapas menu.
To be honest I will probably never be satisfied with Spanish food in London as understandably the seafood is not usually freshly caught. It always affects the texture and taste. However, having said that, this is one of the better Tapas restaurants and I do visit it again and again. The staff are very friendly and they do some great cocktails if that is your thing. I also see familiar faces here often which tells me that there are many people who feel the same way. This is one of my go-to restaurants when I have visitors and I want an evening with a good atmosphere and good food and something a little different from your usual Italian or Thai.
Great place, full of surprises. They do fantastic cocktails and currently have specials so it is great value. By the way, the link to the website does not work because they have changed their web address to www.lostoreros.com
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