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Authentic Spanish cuisine is an experience at Dos Besos Dining

In Spain, it is customary to greet and say goodbye with dos-besos (two kisses) on both sides of the face. The owners and husband-and-wife team of Dos Besos Spanish Restaurant, Alejandro and Keith Llobet, open their hearts to everyone who walks through the door.

“We love getting to know everyone who comes and feeding as many people as possible with amazing, fresh ingredients,” Keith said.

Alejandro, also the chef, hails from Barcelona, ​​while Keith grew up in Pasadena. Llobets had his own catering business called Villa Paella before opening his brick-and-mortar location earlier this year. The design has a contemporary look with Spanish flare and features floor-to-ceiling windows, string lights, an open kitchen and outdoor patio.

“We wanted to bring traditional Spanish food to Pasadena,” Keith said. “Having a non-mobile kitchen allows you to be creative.”

Llobets buys its ingredients and wines from local vendors who import products from Spain. Starting with a glass of Spanish wine ($12 to $16), Dos Besos has a wide selection of cavas (sparkling), blancos (whites), rosados ​​(roses), and tintos (reds). Rioja wine is the most popular among consumers. There’s also a small selection of cervezas (beer, $8 to $9) and sodas, tea, coffee, juice, and sodas ($5 to $10).

“The Rioja region has an ancient way of collecting wine,” Keith said. “It’s smooth and has lots of flavor.”

Tapas (starting at $12 to $52) include Andalusian Gazpacho with Andalusian Vegetable Soup, Spanish Tortillas with Spanish Potatoes and Onions in an Omelette, Spanish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Marcos Salamanca Ham with Parsley. Iberian ham with bread rubbed in homemade tomato paste with olive oil and salt and the famous roasted tomato.

“Everybody loves bread, but this (pan crystal) is from the Catalonia region of Spain,” Keith said. “It’s a nice combination of softness and a little bit of a crunch on the outside.”

Dos Besos is famous for paella, a traditional Spanish dish from the Valencian region made from bomba rice with saffron, protein or vegetables and an extra layer of socarrat. Each paella takes about 35 minutes to cook.

“Paella is served in a shallow pan, and the socarrat adds an earthy flavor and crunchy texture,” Keith said. “It’s not just the food you share, it’s the experience.”

Paellas ($47 to $58) include Paella en su Tinta with squid ink, Fideuá de Mariscos with seafood noodles, Paella de Vegetales with vegetables and the most popular dish, Paella del Mar with seafood.

“Seafood goes well with rice,” Keith said. “What everyone wants to order in Barcelona.”

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For Plateau principles (mains, $28 to $49) there’s costilla de cordero with New Zealand lamb in a rosemary sauce, solomillo a la pimienta verde with filet mignon in a peppercorn sauce, and limoncon alcaparras with salmon. sea ​​bass a la sal with Mediterranean sea bass cooked in lemon caper sauce and rock salt. All main dishes are accompanied by roasted potatoes with herbs and refried beans.

“Lubina a la sal is so fresh and light,” Keith said. “There are herbs in it and it comes out in flames.”

Save room for dessert ($8 to $12). There are four options: sorbetto with lemon, pineapple and coconut sorbet, affogato and espresso with vanilla ice cream, gelado de vanilla with vanilla ice cream and tarta de Santiago, a Spanish almond cake with vanilla ice cream.

“Santiago tarts are flavorful and not too heavy,” Keith said. “It’s full of almond flavor and lightly powdered sugar.”

Llobets likes to be a small boutique restaurant in the city and has no plans to expand.

“Seeing everyone’s milestones and being a part of their celebrations makes all the hard work worth it,” Keith said.

Two kisses

99 Union St., Pasadena

instagram.com/dosbesospasadena

Tuesday to Thursday from 17:00 to 21:00; 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

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