La Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant
3, JingCheng 2nd St, West District
Hours: 11:30 am-2 pm,
No service charge.
After a two-month hiatus, La Bodega, one of Taichung's favorite European hang-outs, has re-opened and expanded from a Spanish restaurant to a broader Mediterranean focus. Owner "Lolo" Rubio has teamed up with long-time friend (and previous Villa Bella restaurant owner) Stefano Bono and Stefano's experienced-chef wife Kelly Cheng to offer a variety of food. There are a dozen meat and veggie Spanish tapas appetizers and main entrees include a unique Carne al Sugo (NT$360) beef stew in tomato sauce, Grilled Sirloin Steak (NT$360), a good Greek salad with feta cheese (NT$270), and various Spanish-style sandwiches (bocadillas). La Bodega still shows satellite sports broadcasts, including daytime live Rugby World Cup games and European football (up to 10 p.m.). --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Angel Pu
A. Despite a few changes and improvements, La Bodega still has its appealingly quaint, cozy atmosphere and deep Spanish-flag red and yellow colors.
B. Chef Kelly says that her version of the spicy NT$240 Penne All' Arrabiata has its own uniquely-tasty twists. One of five pasta entrees on the menu, it is also one of the nine entree options for the Monday-Friday Business Lunch specials (NT$180-310), which all include bread, salad and a drink. Kelly also creates daily-special main courses and appetizers, noted on the blackboard.
C. La Bodega's Spanish-born Frenchman Lorenzo "Lolo" Rubio (left) and Italian Stefano Bono (right) cover most of the Mediterranean with their backgrounds.