930 S. Howard Ave. Tampa, FL 33606
Nestled right in the heart of Soho is Bulla Gastrobar. It sits across from Daily Eats which is a popular food establishment in its own right. Each restaraunt that lines Howard has its own unique flair and that is what makes choosing a place to each difficult at times. Vying for my attention today was Bulla Gastrobar. Bulla as it says in the title is a Gastrobar meaning they specialize in tapas style dining. Everything offered is pretty much a small plate with the exception of some lunch and dinner items. Bulla serves up authentic tapas style spanish food..like from Spain spanish.
When I dropped in for a quick bite to eat, I decided a seat at the bar would be just fine. That is where I met Nic, my super cool bartender that took the time to go over everything with me and make a recommendation or two. Since I was working, I couldn’t partake in a tasty adult beverage but he offered to make me a handmade lemonade. I quickly accepted and thank goodness I did because it was both exquisite and delicious. I was a few sips into my drink and then I saw it… fresh mint, basil and rosemary lining the bar. I asked the bartender if he could add basil to my lemonade (of course he could) he obliged and even made one for himself too. So there we were enjoying our basil lemonades, a first for him and satisfyingly refreshing for me.
Para Empezar – For starters I chose the patatas braves at the recommendation of Nic. These are crispy potato cubes covered in spicy brava sauce and topped with an aioli. When they first arrived they looked beautiful. They were fresh nice and hot, fresh out the fryer and then covered in the spicy brava sauce and aioli. It is a good thing I’m a fan of spicy because the kick took me by surprise. It wasn’t fire breathing dragon spicy but it did have a decent amount of zip to it. At $6.50 it was well worth the order. Not only did it awaken my taste buds but it also filled me up pretty good. The portion size is enough for two people to share.
Camarones Al Curry
It’s always good to have something to balance out the spice so I ordered the camarones al curry also known as shrimp curry. The curry has more of an Indian curry connotation as opposed to a Thai curry so it had more of sweet and savory flavor profile as opposed to spicy. The camarones al curry had artichoke confit, steamed rice and cream and bread. To make this dish gluten free you can just skip the bread. The only thing that could have made this dish perfect was more cilantro. I am a cilantro lover and just the hint sent my craving into overdrive. The shrimp was cooked to perfection and not rubbery or overdone. The artichokes added a nice zest and wouldn’t be something I would have thought to add. I just dipped each one in the cream sauce and add them individually. Everything was portioned out perfect, by the time I finished I didn’t have too much rice or too little shrimp.
I wholly enjoyed my lunchtime visit at Bulla. It wasn’t too crowded, the service was great and the food was marvelous. I look forward to going back for either brunch or dinner AND trying dessert in the near future.