Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Lubina of Malaga



Given as I am to calling the last palate pleaser the “best I have ever had” how many things within a given half year can actually be the best in my long, long life? And that all three of these overhyped phenomena were from Spain within the last seven months is just a little ridiculous. The alleged world beaters by the way are Zumo de Naranja at Casa Antonia in Gaucin, Lomo de Buey at El Churrasco in Cordoba and Lubina at La Cechalote in Malaga. Loosely translated they're OJ, steak and sea bass. Quiz to follow.

In the post two weeks ago I extolled the glories of fresh fish, an entry prompted by my stroll through the fish stalls of the old port in Marseille. And, though I have been mightily distracted by today’s jaunt along the color rich High Road from Santa Fe to Taos, the tale of the Lubina of Malaga must be told.
 
Early in the evening of my one night in Malaga I walked along the shore as dusk fell over the playa. Hordes of walkers, runners and cyclists lent an urban vitality to the balmy waterfront as I searched for just the right place for fresh from the sea pescado. I saw half a dozen palapas with open fires each adjacent to beckoning restaurants along the beach. The glowing pits told me that fish cooked the old fashioned way was in the forecast. I was not unhappy.

I drug it as long as I could but along about 9:30pm I picked La Cechalote empty or not. Well not exactly empty. There was a couple and their three year old. Seventy three and I have the eating schedule of a toddler.

I told the waiter that I wanted a whole fish, sardines and ceviche and would start with a Cava. He brought an icy tray with the fish of the day. Most had prices of around 15 Euros while two including the Lubina had the letters TP in the price column. I figured that this was something like our term “Market Price” but threw caution to the wind and ordered the bass. I am in the thrall of all things bass. He suggested tapas of the little swimmers and the ceviche.
 







 
That was a $40 fish and worth every centavo. It was, after all, the best fish in the world. The sardines from the adjoining stick were a close second. Fresh is best and fresh over a roaring wood fire is an eleven on a scale of 1-10.

After dinner drink priceless.



 
 
 
 
 


4 comments:

Daryl A. Black said...

The fish, the whole fish, and nothing but the fish! Love that full fish portrait, full of carbon' and spices. I can very nearly taste it. But I also love the dusk walk along the water, people, and oceanside restaurant.

The after-dinner drink is indeed priceless.

Steve Immel said...

And literally priceless as in free, comped by the house.

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