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Barcelona tapas restaurant coming to Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jan 16, 2019
The owners of Telefèric Barcelona, who run three well-known restaurants in Barcelona, Spain and a fourth in Walnut Creek, are opening a new location in Palo Alto.

Telefèric Barcelona has taken over the former Calafia Cafe space at Town & Country Village. Calafia closed in August after nine years of business at the El Camino Real shopping center.

Renderings of the forthcoming Telefèric Barcelona location in Palo Alto. Photo courtesy Telefèric Barcelona.

Xavi Padrosa, who runs the restaurants with his sister, said Palo Alto left an impression on him as an international, food-loving city ever since he lived there while attending Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and then Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Padrosa lived in Palo Alto from 2005 to 2012.

His parents opened their first restaurant in 1993 in Sant Cugat, just north of Barcelona. Three years later, they expanded and renamed it Telefèric Barcelona. They eventually opened two more locations in Barcelona.

Padrosa claims his mother Soledad Urabayen, who is from Pamplona, brought pintxos, the bar-friendly snacks of Northern Spain, for the first time to Catalonia region.

A selection of pintxos from Telefèric Barcelona. Photo courtesy Telefèric Barcelona.

The family decided to expand internationally after Brian Hirahara, the developer of a new three-story building in downtown Walnut Creek, dined at one of the family’s Barcelona restaurants and encouraged them to come to the United States, Padrosa said. Telefèric Barcelona opened in Walnut Creek in 2016.

No two Telefèric locations are exactly the same and things are still in the works for Palo Alto, Padrosa said, but in general, Telefèric serves authentic Spanish tapas, pintxos and paella. Tapas include croquetas, patatas bravas, grilled octopus and a foie gras with caramelized onion and cherry jam that won Barcelona’s best tapa of the year in 2014. (It's unlikely that dish will be on the Palo Alto restaurant's menu given the U.S. Supreme Court announced earlier this month it would not hear a challenge to California's foie gras ban, leaving it in place.)

There are four kinds of paellas with toppings such as lobster, seasonal vegetables and meat.

The wine list will be primarily Spanish, Padrosa said. There are also several kinds of sangrias, gin and tonics and other cocktails.

At other Telefèric locations, waiters roam dining rooms with dim sum-style carts piled with pintxos. Padrosa said the Palo Alto restaurant will most likely have the carts.

The newest Telefèric will also have a next-door market, as Calafia Cafe did, with Spanish wines, cheese, cured meats and other imported products for sale. They're also working on a to-go concept for that side of the space, Padrosa said.

Telefèric Barcelona Palo Alto will have its own Spanish market. Photo courtesy Telefèric Barcelona.

What sets Telefèric apart from other Spanish restaurants in the Bay Area? The owners as well as chefs, hostess and general manager are all from Barcelona, Padrosa said.

"This is the way to keep it authentic," he said, though he admitted that they have to make "some adaptation to American palates."

Padrosa hopes to be open in May or June, after which they plan to look to expand further in California.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by David Shannon , a resident of another community,
on Jan 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

That should be a great addition to Town and Country Village. Can't wait to try it

Posted by There Must Be A Space Here Somewhere, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Sounds like a wonderful new addition.

Opening in May?

I'm going to start looking for a parking space this afternoon.

Posted by redplanet, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 16, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Looks noisy. I'm looking for places to eat that don't overdo OSHA noise limits. Not easy with the styles in vogue - all wood and metal and open kitchens and annoying music. Move veg would be cool too. I am obviously in the minority.

Posted by Julian Gomez, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 16, 2019 at 7:17 pm

@ David Shannon
There Must Be A Space Here Somewhere

Second that.

Posted by MEMBERONE, a resident of Atherton,
on Jan 17, 2019 at 4:54 pm

We ate twice at their Barcelona location in 2017. EXCELLENT. Superb tapas and entrees with spectacular service. We got into quite a discussion, as they had recently returned from Walnut Creek to open a restaurant there.

We found our way back to Barca last year, and T'feric again.
Not quite as good...
Will definitely try the T&C location.
Hope it's not a one and done.
Best of luck Teleferic !!!

Posted by Dana Hendrickson, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 17, 2019 at 5:40 pm

When we visit our son who lives in Barcelona we enjoy dinner at Telefèric Barcelona.

Walnut Creek is too far so having one here is GREAT!

Posted by rose, a resident of Mayfield,
on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm

David et al -- suggest you ride your bike and you'll be able to park right in front and you'll have more fun getting there.
The restaurant sounds great. I sure hope the food is out of this world, but not the prices.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:05 am

Rose: Glad you ride your bike everywhere but your "bike sermonette" is out of order here. Restaurant patrons come in all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities/disabilities --- it is not a moral failing to drive a car to a restaurant.

Posted by Gail, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 11:56 am

After eating tapas almost daily during my five trips to Spain, I was disappointed to see Padrosa quoted as saying they may have to make "some adaptation to American palates." No, no! Padrosa said he chose Palo Alto because it is an an international, food-loving city so most of his customers will want authentic dishes, and I am sure they will love it.

Posted by Gail, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Dear "neighbor, a resident of another community"

Rose made an excellent point. It was not a "bike sermonette," and not out of order here at all. People were complaining about parking at T&C so she offered a suggestion - very nicely, too. It might not apply to them but it could remind those who can to drive their cars home and grab their bicycles.

We all sometimes forget that there are easier or better solutions, and this could be a good one for some people. I can't ride a bike anymore because of my hip, but I am glad to see people who do, and they might free up some parking spaces when I go out. Win-win for everybody.

And who are you to decide what "is out of order here"? My sense is that you are the one who is out of order, and I believe it is more of a "moral failing" to find fault with well-meaning people and thusly criticize them for good ideas just because they don't apply to you.

Hope I get to meet Rose someday. She sounds like a really nice person.

Posted by Another neighbor, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Gail, your (currently duplicated) comment just above implicitly demonstrates how much depends on the eye of the beholder.

To many readers, "bike sermonette" IS an exactly fitting (and measured) characterization of the earlier comment. Parking has been a major issue at the old Palo Alto T&C ever since its ownership change and gentrification a few years ago. And as "neighbor" politely explained already, not everyone enjoys the privilege of freely choosing how to get there. (I'm surprised anyone needs to point that out; yet, overlooking that reality is a regular failing among advocates of greener/cleaner/fashionable transportation. Another is unawareness that the advocacy can easily come across to many people, whether intentionally or not, as preachy or preening.)

Separately to your earlier comment deprecating "some adaptation to American palates," please recognize (a) that can mean as little as just including some additional, locally popular ingredients or suppliers, besides faithful dishes from Spain; and (b) a restaurant unwilling to make any accommodation to its local market will usually operate at a loss, and not every restaurateur has that luxury. A restaurant strictly copying an overseas prototype with no local "adaptation" may soon be a closed restaurant, which you must agree is even further from the original experience.

Posted by Gail, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:16 pm

To another neighbor, a resident of Mountain View regarding your statement: "... as "neighbor" politely explained already, not everyone enjoys the privilege of freely choosing how to get there."

My doctor said I shouldn't ride a bike anymore because of my arthritic hip so, as I pointed out, I don't have that privilege either. However, I did not take offence or see why I should. Rose did not imply that everyone should ride a bike. She only offered a suggestion to be considered by those who can. I don't know how any "beholder" can infer that she thought everyone should. It seems to me that you anonymous "neighbors" are quite oversensitive. Feeling a little guilty, perhaps?

And the comment by "neighbor, a resident of another community" was NOT polite! Her comment obviously offended me.

As to the tapas, you are probably right. Just hope we see plenty of original dishes alongside those adaptations. And, yes, we want it to be busy!

Posted by World traveler, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 9:26 am

I really hope their olives are imported from Spain. It would be such a let down otherwise. Don't get me started on the anchovies.

I think I'll wear my red shirt from Desigual. I just need to find some white pants. Ok gotta run to Stanford mall. See you all in May.

Posted by Dana Hendrickson, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm

It's amazing how sensitive and judgmental our culture has become with the advent of online forums.

I am a serious bicyclists who never rides to a restaurant for dinner.

It's simply unappealing and impractical as I usually dine with at least four friends.

And yes, parking and simply driving by T&C is extremely unpleasant.

That said, I think Roses's comment is humorous and not the least bit offensive.

Am I a cultural misfit?


Posted by Rafael , a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 10:40 pm

I think this is great!! A welcome addition to the Palo Alto/ Mt View and Los Altos area. I have been to the location in Walnut Creek, and of course to the one in Spain.

There are a few Spanish restaurants in the area, but we do need more of our culinary offers in America. It's wonderful to have a variety. And as a very big promoter of our Latin European/ Mediterranean food, its great to share the food experience.

Posted by awatkins, a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 3:49 pm

@red planet �"

“looks noisy"? You sure it doesn't sound dark?

Anyway, highly regarded restaurant opens nearby: Every cloud has lead lining, right?

I don't like noisy restaurants either but complaining about one that hasn't opened yet seems particularly pointless and unfair. Give them a chance, and then vote with your wallet.

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