Grab 'em by the octopus
The That | 2.5.17

Okay, full disclosure, I really wanted to score a table at Tickets restaurant this trip- but it just didn't happen.

But that's fine, because: 

1: Albert Adria's empire consists of SIX (six!) restaurants here in Barcelona

2: I am dining with a Vegan, and Tickets Restaurant strikes me as a hedonistic food orgy where restriction should be restricted- so....

Enter: Pakta-- 

Pakta

Pakta is 32 seat Japanese/Peruvian concept that highlights seasonal products, it includes a bunch of fish and meat options, and of course some vegetable options-- though to be honest, Pakta falls a bit short with its vegan options...and yes, we totally knew this going in, and yes, it's totally stated clearly on their website...and why should they have vegan options anyway? Totally not their fault. We were (I was?) just weirdly optimistic that a vegan fairy would sparkle vegan dust on one element of the menu so my dining companion would be happy and I could feast guilt-free on ceviche. 

So- knowing the reality of Pakta's clear-cut online menu and FAQ's be damned. Off we went, armed with intolerances to give Pakta a whirl. 

We knew we wouldn't indulge in the 22 course tasting menu, but with the heroic help of the waiter, we hoped to pick and choose our way around as much of the menu as is veganly possible- alas, in the end, it was pretty slim pickings for Frankie...

 

Once seated, we are overly aware of the low dose of Vegan options, as well as painfully, rottenly sober. For me, the immediate consumption of a Pisco Sour seems like the right thing to do. (but my friend is once against foiled by a foam of non-vegan egg whites.) She instead goes for an (emergency) glass of red while we navigate the rest of the meal...

I start with a delicious Octupus Salad with olluco, edamame, and kimchi. Olluco is a great leaf, because it has a great crispy texture, even when cooked. And I always love me an Octopus. Especially in Espana.

Octo Salad

Peas with Wasabi and Roses is our next dish, and it looks promising! It's green, and vibrant, and on most days probably has the potential to curl a line of vegans around the block... Alas, a rogue egg yolk somehow slithered (gorgeously) onto the bottom of the dish, so it was up to me and me alone to finish the plate. Which I did, btw, in record time. Thank god for spoons, and gluttony. 

Egg Yolk

Next came some Meagre Fish ceviche with Pomegranate and leche de tigre-  again, this was mostly me, since it's fish, but we did get het to slurp up some of that sauce, and there was certianly nothing wrong with that. 

Ceviche Pom

The Homemade soba of green tea with yuza sobatsuyu sauce was the finale, and while the presentation and I am sure the labor involved were both impressive, the soba themselves didn't exactly knock anybody's socks off. We wanted to like them. We wanted to fall in love with them- But as they say on the internet, we just didn't seem to be a match(a).

Soba

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