Authentic Basque Paella at the Palos Verdes Farmers Market

Tent for A Basq Kitchen

Tent for A Basq Kitchen

I usually frequent the Torrance Farmers Market. Today, I visited the Palos Verdes Farmers Market for one reason – seafood paella made by Executive Chef Beñat Ibarra (Terranea and A Basq Kitchen). So why is this significant? Ibarra is from Biarritz in France and I wanted to relive my Basque experience.

This was my first time to the Palos Verdes Farmers Market after they relocated to Peninsula HIgh School. Unlike other nearby farmers markets, parking was extremely easy. I made my way to the pillows of smoke I saw in the horizon and lo and behold, there was a Basque flag. I knew that I would meet up with my paella destination.

A Basq Kitchen was set up with a tent offering a menu including three different types of flatbread and paella. The main attraction was their Paella Mixta. By the time I arrived, Ibarra already had small pieces of pork and chicken cooking in a large paella pan.

Executive Chef Beñat Ibarra adding the sofrito base

Executive Chef Beñat Ibarra adding the sofrito base

Sofritos, a common Spanish base made with tomatoes, garlic and onions, was added to the meat. Ibarra mixed this thoroughly so that it was immersed with the meat. He then added txistorra sausage, white wine, chicken broth and finally added the mussels, clams and shrimp. Hungry onlookers eagerly waited for the dish to be prepared.

I was very happy at the amount of seafood that was in this paella. Most restaurants try to shave their expenses by providing only the bare minimum and use other types of protein as filler. Quite a few mussels, clams and shrimp were on my tray and I was delighted at the freshness of the seafood.

I also ordered two different types of flatbread – zucchini with goat cheese and chorizo and another with chorizo, txistorra and cheese. Co-owner Jessica Ibarra prepared both in a portable wood burning oven.  

I took my half-eaten paella and the two flatbreads home for my wife to try. She’s used to my strange habits and fortunately doesn’t mind getting food this way. We both agreed that the seasoning on the bomba rice was very good. Of the two flatbreads, we both enjoyed the chorizo and txistorra more.

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A Basq Kitchen will be at the Palos Verdes Farmers Market each Sunday morning. Stop by and cruise the market. I think you will agree that it is a South Bay hidden gem.

Palos Verdes Farmers Market

A Basq Kitchen

 

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