Marbella

House of Spain

A Taste of Costa del Sol on Polk Street

207cf909c55e3a1a9621b7fa53f1a06132a679283 PhotosMarbella
Siestas.

Bullfights.

Ibiza.

Yeah, the Spanish know a thing or two about the good life.

Also: tapas.

Presenting Marbella, a cavernous transplant of a tapas bar channeling the swankiest of Spain’s Costa del Sol via small plates and cocktails, opening Wednesday on Polk Street.

First off, if you knew and loved this locale as Rex Café, you’ll be happy to hear that all the good things—namely, the sunny tables at brunch and the potent drinks—are still good. So there’s that.

But really, you’ll want to come to this sultry red-walled den on your fourth or fifth date and head straight back to the snakeskin booth that’s slightly obscured under the stairs. From here you’ll summon a bottle of albariño, some croquetas and the paella for two, naturally.

If you’re thinking this calls for a larger group (as tapas are known to do), you’ll want to consider the elevated communal table behind the bar. It’s centrally located for studying the mural of the flamenco dancer on the far wall. But more importantly, it’s got the most surface area on which to place sangria and that steady rotation of small plates.

Of course, the shiny new candy-apple-red lacquer bar will always be there for your cocktailing delight every night until 2am.

Which may lead to a next-day nap in the siesta tradition...

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