From the much loved Santa Gula up the road comes Gula Bar. Definitely a second sibling. Lots of concrete. The seats are bar height mostly, perching half the restaurant’s customers so they can look into the kitchen. Which is open and manned by young chefs in black t-shirts that state boldly: “we know how to play with fire” with well-shaped tattooed arms. There’s a neon sign over the kitchen. Another one at the back GULA – white bulbs on red lettering, the “LA” part of Gula has tipped down irreverently to the next line.
Our waitress is pink haired, much pierced, including a smiley piercing that reveals herself when she smiles. Which she does a lot. As she tells us about some of the dishes, the light of the GULA sign behind her makes her look as if she is emitting a pink neon halo. She will have to work there forever and never change her hairstyle because she sells the concept simply by standing there, framed as she is by the sign.
Isabelle and I decide to stick to the left side of the menu Tapitas and Bocados and only order the sweetbreads (9.9€) from the Platillos side. The Russian salad with eel (7.2€), the savory corn and foie gras custard (5.9€), the calamari mollete (3.9€), and the taco (5.9€). We have to have the beef bikini (5.5€) which is no such thing, rather it is a long block of slow cooked beef, shredded, placed between two thin slices of white bread. An impossible feat given the soft nature of the beef but somehow they pull it off.
The tapas we try are very cheffy, very cool – fitting into the overall image of the place. Later on, I scroll through their Instagram feed and see that their contact email is email@example.com a fun (but cool) play on oido (heard) which the line chefs shout when their head chef calls in an order.
C/ del doctor Rizal, 20
Annabel Shaw says
I’ve long been taking your excellent advice on restaurants in Barcelona since I stay here for three months each spring. Last night however we had a truly awful meal at the Gula Bar in Gracia. We had three dishes and each was edible but unpalatable. The seasoning was excessive and on the Patatas Bravas there appeared a blanket of tomato ketchup on top of a blanket of cheap mayonnaise – definitely not homemade. The tuna belly slices were dry and the fresh tomatoes as tasteless as the ones you usually get from a supermarket in England. And I’ve never had a tasteless tomato in Barcelona ever before.
I do think this restaurant needs to be taken from your otherwise reliable list.
Thanks for allowing me to comment