My Dinners with Albert: Pakta

My friend Ron is a bit of a reservations savant. I can’t really think of a reservation that he has wanted that he hasn’t gotten. It’s not like he trips into them or anything like that — for the reputedly difficult reservations at restaurants like Frenchie or Momofuku Ko, he has definitely put the work in, making phone calls at what could be ungodly local hours or setting the proper Google alerts or whatever other subtle sleuth work is deemed necessary for each occasion. But the thing is: there seems to be no difficult reservation outside of his reach.

And so, in Barcelona this past week, through a series of happy coincidences and well-timed legwork, between Ron, my friend Lisa and me, we were able to secure reservations at Albert Adria’s trio of Barcelona restaurants: Pakta, 41 Grados, and Tickets. Being the lucky fifth wheel who was vacationing at the same time as two couples, I somehow managed to be the luckiest of all, getting to all three restaurants for meals. Kristina started calling our vacation My Dinner with Albert, since we were basically sharing our lives over these dinners and we all consider ourselves as talented and interesting as Wallace Shawn. (We don’t. Because nobody is. That is, to put a pin in it, inconceivable!)

Pakta was an especially exciting reservation since we would be dining on what was only the third day that the restaurant had been open to the public. Our server informed us that they had been beta testing the menu with friends of the restaurant in the month before. We can only imagine that those tests resulted in some A+ grades, because that’s ultimately what we all gave the restaurant. The cuisine is Nikkei — Japanese/Peruvian fusion concept. Chefs Kyoko Li and Jorge Muñoz run the two kitchens, which sort of flank the dining room, giving every diner a chance to peek into the inner workings.

As much as I’d like to wax poetic about each item, at this early stage in the restaurant’s existence, I’m guessing that I’ve already hit the TL;DR PICZ PLZ short attention span wall. So here you go; PICZ YR WLCM.

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In case it’s not clear. This is the first in a 3-part series.

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