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Manchego: New Spanish Tapas Restaurant in Santa Monica

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What no one is telling you is that there's a new Spanish tapas restaurant that just opened in Santa Monica. Actually Manchego has been around for about four months but it seems the only people talking about it online are Yelpers and even they are reluctant to sing its praises. We're guessing it's because they want to keep it to themselves. With only about 13 tables in this small eatery, $5 tapas, and BYOB with no corkage fee, who can blame them?

We checked it out on a Friday night after work and the restaurant was completely empty. But when we walked in the host asked us if we had reservations. We blinked, looked around at all the empty chairs and tables and looked back at him. "I just like to keep things balanced," he said. Fair enough. He then said we could sit where ever except a couple of spots where they had to move some of the tables together to accommodate a large party that was arriving later.