Steamy ambitions sourced by members of local gypsy band Bandoleros had West Loopers readying their flamenco shoes at this foray into their own club. Chef Daniel Marquis (Bin-36, Sushi Samba Rio, The Grocery Bistro) was ready to fire up the proper tapas when the energy gets low, adding specialties like chorizo-chicken croquettes, drizzled in roasted red pepper aioli ($9).
Problem is the missteps turned into stumbles, as Marquis bowed out, the dining room stayed empty before the Bandoleros set times (11 p.m.) and new executive kitchen talent, Sam Moharam (Alexandria's), struggled to fill seats with larger plates like paella, that had plenty of flavor, but were oppositely priced over $30.
And though a last gasp menu shake-up has doom written in it with American comfort switchouts from roast turkey dinners to meatloaf, a full line of finger-poppable brioche-clad sandwiches (3/$13) are the saving grace they're looking for. They come teased with party-ready flavors from bourbon braised skirt steak to creamy neufchatel cheese, and are even better when paired with the new sultry cocktail set like the Spanish brandy and cinnamon sugar-rimmed Ay! Ven Chiquita.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul