Q: What is it? A: A classic place for paella located just near the birthplace of the paella.
Fundado en 1898
Let’s make one thing clear right from the start: You don’t visit La Pepica for the food only. You visit it for the historic vibe and the chaos that can only exist in a Spanish restaurant the size of an aircraft hangar. Enter through the kitchen (no drama, at this place most people do) and you realize that you’ve arrived at the very epicenter of Valencian cooking.
The paella was invented in Valencia.
When you enter you will see a lot of paellas. They’re hanging from the kitchen ceiling. Oh yes, paella is the name of the shallow steel pan where the Valencian cooks would toss a lot of Calasparra or Bomba rice along with saffron, olive oil, vegetables, meat and/or seafood.
In 1840, a local newspaper first used the phrase Valencian paella to refer to the recipe rather than the pan. The rest is culinary history.
It has been called la abuela of paella restaurants.
Pictures on the walls include Spanish royalty, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. The kitchen with its traditional tile is fantastic and the old waiters move and behave just like… old waiters.
But what about the food? To tell you the truth, it didn’t make an impression on me. But I must admit, paella rarely do. On the other hand, I did have lunch here, and if one should expect something else from the dinner menu, please let me know.
So go here. Arrive hungry and leave satisfied. You may not remember the food but you will remember the grandmother of all paella restaurants.
Paseo Neptuno 2,6, y 8
Plaa de la Malvarosa