Years ago, when I first moved to southern California, I came here for dinner while visiting Riverside and didn’t remember much about the experience except that the service was outstanding. On a recent trip out to Riverside six years later, a bunch of my friends and I came here for dinner and while the decor hasn’t changed much, the food certainly was a lot more memorable.
As with all foodie get togethers, we started with some cocktails, and believe it when I tell you this — there are a lot to choose from at Sevilla! There’s an array of sangrias on offer and we tried all four — Sangarita ($8) the combination of sangria and El Jimador margarita, Sangria Blanca ($8) white wine with apples and cinnamon.
There is also the traditional Sangria ($8 pint/$28 pitcher/$59 barrel) and the Sangria Royal ($9) with Licor 43 and Gran Torres Orange. I also loved the Barbacoa ($10) a cocktail of house infused pineapple serrano Milagro tequila with fresh squeezed lime juice garnished with Soria chorizo.
We had too much food, hits and misses so here I’m going to highlight the definitely hits. Sevilla’s Daily Baked Bread ($5) is a great way to start while enjoying your cocktails. Artisan Kalamata olive loaf was too hot to handle when it arrived, but we couldn’t wait. Served with Andalusian tomato sauce and aioli dips, it was delicious!
One of my favorites of the evening was Scallop and Yellowtail Ceviche ($10) with a beautiful mojo — tart and mouth puckering — and bits of cucumbers and avocado. The marriage of flavors was insanely good.
It wasn’t that long ago when pata negra, or Iberico ham was illegal here in the US. Boy was I happy when that ban was lifted! Imported Jamon Iberico ($27) was intensely flavorful and nicely cured. I wish they had sliced it a lot thinner though and served it with pan de tomate instead of regular grilled bread.
I wanted to try Shrimp al Ajillo ($9) as this is always my to-go-to dish when visiting a Spanish restaurant. I enjoyed this one but would’ve liked more garlic. The roasted artichokes were a nice touch!
If you’re a fan of cheese, then Cheese Fundido ($12) is not to be missed. Rich, decadent, the baked manchego and goat cheese come together to form a gooey, oozy, deliciousness with bits of salty chorizo throughout.
Grilled Spanish Sausages ($9) includes three different styles: chorizo riojano, longaniza and lamb merguez. The caramelized onions are a bit sweet but otherwise, a great meaty item.
We were stuffed but still managed to finish off with some churros. If you have the energy after dinner, pop upstairs for some traditional music or next door for a nightclub experience.
Cafe Seville — Inland Empire
3252 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507