I had lunch at Lluritu Gracia last week. Up in Gracia, as far away from the sea as possible. No sea vistas, no palm trees. A narrow one-way street, as they often are in Gracia. A storefront that my lunch date walked right past. A lot of cold hard surfaces. Traditional tiles on the floor, a striking marble bar, a splashback made of functional square white tiles behind it. A utilitarian feel to it all, as if the staff, could hose down all the walls and tables after service should the space require it.
At the end of the bar and before the seating starts, there is a windowed cubicle. It looks like an outhouse or the smokers rooms you sometimes see on train platforms. This, it turns out, is where the action happens. High heat terrain with a powerful extraction system sucking up all the smoke leaving the eating area unblemished by fish stink.
The offer is straightforward: they take things from the sea, mostly small things in shells, apply searing heat – a la plancha (flat top grill) or a la Brasa (grill), salt and olive oil and serve it. On a flat thick plate with the only lurid red LLURITU printed on the edge of the plate for garnish. They make an exception for the 4 sardines, those come with 3 halved cherry tomatoes. Next to the char and salt of the sardines, those 1.5 tomatoes (I am sharing plates with Sara so it’s 3 halves each) are phenomenal.
Sara* is infinitely more proficient in marisco than I am, so she shoots off our order: eel salad (€6.7), razor clams (€9.8), cockles (€9.5), little clams (€7.5) & sardines (€7.9). There is one meat dish, cooked on the grill and there is a tomato salad, everything in-between is seafood.
Lluritu’s menu is a table made up of 8 columns, filled in by hand in blue ballpoint: the dish, how it’s cooked, ingredients, provenance (km 0, Ebro delta, Escala, etc), 1/2 portion price, full portion price. More than a customers menu, it looks like something the kitchen might use as a reference.
It’s unlikely that the menu is an accident – as the tongue in cheek small text on the menu says: marisqueria desenfadada. Lluritu knows they’re great and after you eat there you will too. Affordable, quality seafood? I’m more than happy to trade-off on the view of the sea if the best of the sea is on the plate in front of me.
*All pictures in this post were taken by Sara Larsson. (Which is why they look better than they normally do.)