The best thing to do at Bulla Gastrobar (located in Coral Gables) is go simple and let the top part of the menu handle most of the work.
This is the kind of place you take friends after work to munch on small bites—with a white sangria in your hand and absolutely no kind of rush.
Library voices are definitely not heard here. At Bulla you’ve got to speak up!
And we are in no way complaining, we’re actually kind of grateful that our ears are sort of detached from what the neighbors have to say. Everyone is pretty much minding their peas and q’s and it’s nice to know that privacy and the right extremity between tables still exists.
The ambiance goes mano a mano with the style of the restaurant, offering a subtle cool take on Spanish tapas.
We got the chance to speak with humble Chef Luis Quant and leading mixologist Sebastian Silva, were they chatted up drinks and food with us.
Sebastian talked to us about the cocktail menu. He mentioned that every week he creates one cocktail to feature on the menu. The idea is that all the drinks have somewhat of a Spanish influence. He makes a mean mojito with licor de hierbas and Bacardi.
Hungries must also try:
The Moscow Mule with Russian Standard vodka, fever tree ginger beer, fresh lime, cardamom and currant infused syrup ($12).
The Sangria De Cerveza with Ommegang Witte, triple sec, lemon juice, freshly made pear puree ($8 per glass, $29 per pitcher).
And the Proper Gin & Tonic with Fifty Pounds ‘small batch gin’, lemon peel, lime wheel, star anise, and fever tree tonic water ($13—which naturally has us singing in our head Billy Joel’s “making love to his tonic and gin.”)
Chef Luis took a moment from the busy kitchen to talk past experiences and his favorites on the menu.
Born in Nicargua and raised in Miami—Chef Luis feels like Miami has always been home, his city.
His first taste of this industry started when he was around fourteen years old working in a bakery which eventually led him to Johnson & Wales for culinary school. He admits that he was also highly motivated by a past girlfriend to acquire more experience in order to impress her with his culinary talent. A bold career, but we agree it was the right one!
Soon after, Chef Luis joined The Ritz Carlton team in Key Biscayne where he worked under Chef Jeffrey Vigila, learning and receiving the proper training from classic French cooking to Japanese cuisine.
After three years at the Ritz in Key Biscayne, he moved on to other opportunities, learning more about Spanish cuisine and his love for sauces. His mission was always to better his skills in each type of cuisine to then be able to tell his own story and concentrate on what he loves to do.
When asked why owner Carlos Centurion changed Por Fin to Bulla, Chef Luis explained that Por Fin, although—a very good restaurant, it was just a restaurant, it lacked the conceptual aspect that a spot like Bulla has picked up so nicely.
The ambiance at Bulla is more relaxed and informal, which we can all agree is pretty enjoyable when sipping on some Bacardi inspired cocktails and chewing on some queso Mahón and Jamon Serrano.
Chef Luis had the opportunity between Por Fin and Bulla to travel through Spain, falling in love with the cuisine all over again. Eating up Spain was the experience he needed to understand where they would go with Bulla.
Chef Luis loves the simplicity that comes with Spanish food. His favorite dish on the menu is the Ensalada de Pulpo with heirloom tomatoes, grilled octopus and cucumber ($17).
He also recommends the Huevos Bulla with organic egg, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil ($10), which also happens to be their most popular dish.
For the larger plates Chef Luis enjoys the Cochinillo, which is suckling pig, oyster mushrooms and parsley with onions ($22) as well as the Rabo de Toro which is braised oxtail, shishito pepper and bomba rice ($22).
Hungries, we also recommend you dig in the Pan con Tomate which is a simple grilled bread with grated tomato and extra virgin olive oil ($4), the Tartar de Atun with a crunchy take on a taco, ahi tuna, mango, avocado and soy sesame vinaigrette and the Pintxo Moruno with cumin marinated girlled pork, mojo verde and greek yogurt ($9).
Oh, and do us a favor don’t leave Bulla without trying the Jamon de Bellota, which is an acorn fed pure Iberico ham ($28) and a “medium strong” creamy cheese better known as Leonora—soft’s goat milk from Leon ($8).
Bulla is located at 2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.