Taste | Cafe Sevilla
By: Chef Alex Rivas
When I was younger, I used to be a bouncer in many different areas from Los Angeles to Riverside. So, when I heard I was being sent to Cafe Sevilla in Riverside, many memories come flashing back of the lively nightlife events that went on when bouncing at the Sevilla Nightclub. With a small appetite but hunger to find out what great Spanish fair was being made in the kitchen, I was looking forward to trying authentic tastes.
The decoration inside was amazing and really showed the pride that the restaurant has for the history and culture of Spanish design and cuisine. With the weather being humid, I felt instantly transported to the real Spain. Looking over the menu a couple dishes popped out and caught my eye; to make things fair, I wanted to try a little of everything and get a good feel of the menu options.
To start the day I went with the Wild Mushroom Empanadas. Earthy mushrooms in flaky bread sounded like a poetic combination, and it was no surprise that the dish was all that and more. The wild mushroom filing was the perfect, perfect consistency for an empanada and was paired beautifully with rioja sauce made of red wine, mushrooms and added a little tang to the dish.
With a great start, my next tapa dish was Tortilla Espanola or translated it means Potato Tart. The dish carried many flavors that balanced well—a little sweetness from the roasted peppers and tomatoes, creaminess from the goat cheese, tang from the vinegar and olive oil marinated mushrooms. It was a fun dish to taste, and all I could think of was how great a slice of this tapa would be in the morning with some creamy scrambled eggs.
These starters were not a bad way to get my vegetables in for lunch, which by the way, Sevilla has many vegetarian dishes for those friends of ours that don’t eat meat. Now that the vegetable and starch tapas were behind me, I was looking forward to the paella dish I had ordered.
The Six Sausage Paella was served, and I was instantly impressed. This entrée had not one, not two, but six different types of sausage—this consisted of two types of chorizo, merquez, morcilla, chistorra and loganiza sausage. It is served with authentic saffron bomba rice; bomba rice is mostly cultivated in the eastern part of Spain. The rice carried an al dente feel, due to the fact that the rice can absorb two to three times its volume. It was seasoned lightly but got its saltiness and flavors from the sausages. It was too bad I didn’t order a larger portion.
Last but not least I had to try a brocheta. With my fill from the paella, I ordered the Chicken Brocheta. It is served on the skewer and hung at the table which is really a beautiful presentation. It was nicely cooked very moist and flavorful from the Moorish spices. It also had a little smoky taste from the char that it got from the flames it was grilled on. I always love the onions that get cooked on skewers; they make for a sweet treat that always pairs nicely with chicken.
Overall, lunch was a huge success. Sevilla has many options when it comes to Spanish cuisine. My only regret was that I didn’t get to taste more of the menu. But that just makes for another adventure on another day. Sevilla also offers many different styles of serving dishes, from Familia style and brunch and they are currently carrying an exploring Argentinian menu and a "Journey through Spain" menu. In all, I can see why Cafe Sevilla has such a loyal fan base. Also, if you are looking for a place to have drinks and dance the night away, Sevilla Nightclub is the place to be.
Cafe Sevilla is located at 3252 Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside, California. For more information call (951) 778-0611 or visit their website.
Full Disclosure: The dining experience was provided complimentary by Cafe Sevilla, however all opinions are 100% our own.