D.C.-based tapas chain La Tasca is rolling out a revamped menu from a new executive chef in preparation for an expansion, according to company President Javier Candón.
Candón envisions two to three more La Tasca locations in D.C. or the immediate suburbs, and then he wants to take the concept to another major city. The company is looking for space in Georgetown and Dupont Circle, he added.
La Tasca has hired chef Josu Zubikarai, who opened pioneering Spanish restaurant Taberna del Alabardero in the District in 1989. Since he came on board in February, the Spanish chef has been looking at the menu from top to bottom, Candón said at a tasting event Wednesday night.
Besides designing dishes that will go on menus at five existing La Tasca locations, Zubikarai has taken a closer look at the Spanish staples the restaurant is known for, such as Spanish tortilla, croquetas de jamón and paellas, Candón said.
“To do Spanish food in the right way, you really have to have your basics very firm and be very consistent,” Candón said. “Where he had the most impact was reviewing those over and teaching us the basics.”
Some of the new menu items that La Tasca is currently testing with audiences include a chilled tomato soup topped with egg and jamón Serrano, butterflied shrimp and sliced avocado over mixed greens, crispy miniature sardine sandwiches with piquillo sauce and roasted quail stuff with poultry mousse and mushrooms.