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Andalucia Restaurant, Rockville - Closed

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Authentic Spnish food. Lots of seafood, well prepared. They use lots of olives, capers, etc. Good place to get Spanish wines as they have a reasonably priced wine list that is mainly Spanish. Very pretty dining room, not too crowded, and the service is efficient and friendly. Not the easiest place to find, but worth looking for. I've never been disappointed, and if anything, suffer from going too often.

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Maybe we caught Andalucia on an off night, but what we had last night was ok, but not great.

We started with Alcachofas con Jamon (Artichokes with Spanish ham in garlic sherry sauce). The artichokes were good, but the Spanish ham was closer to jerky, and didn't have much appreciable ham taste. The garlic sherry sauce was brown, flavorless gravy. We also had Calamares a la Plancha (Grilled Calamari with lemon and garlic). The grilled squid was excellent, and incredibly tender, but I couldn't taste the advertised garlic, and I personally prefer a bit of char on grilled squid.

My wife ordered the Veal Chop special. The chop was huge, cooked to the requested medium rare, and tasty. Unfortunately, it was drowned in the same tasteless brown gravy from the artichoke dish. It was served with some very good mushrooms, and a side of grilled squash with potatoes which was fabulous - probably the best thing we ate there. We also had Paella Valencianca (Saffron rice mixed with chicken, veal and seafood). The rice was first rate, but the seafood seemed tired to me. A couple of mussels, one clam, one scallop, perhaps an ounce of fish, and 3 small shrimp. Most of it was a little on the fishy side, though nothing was outright bad. The chicken and veal were very good - I'd probably get the carne paella next time.

We had Pear Poached in Red Wine with ice cream, and Orange Bread Pudding for dessert. Both were very good - they make all the desserts in house. An adjacent table ordered a fabulous looking flan.

Total for the above, one iced tea, and a glass of very very good white sangria was just shy of $100 after tax and tip.

Portions were large, service was very friendly, and the dining room is very attractive. I'm sure we'll give them another chance, as it's closer than going to Jaleo in Bethesda, but I'm hoping to hit less duds on the menu.

They have flamenco dancing on Thursday nights, so we'd probably try going on Thursday next time. Interesting fact gleamed from their website - the term for shouts of encouragement given to the dancer is "Jaleo".

Last FYI - they are listed on restaurant.com, so you can get a $25 gift certificate for $10. Min $50 purchase, not valid on Saturdays, 18% gratuity added to check before discount. The coupon was taken with a smile, and promptly applied to the bill.

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Andalucia closed goodness-how-long ago, and is now called Simply Chinese. I couldn't find anything about this at all on the internet, so am extrapolating this information (not to mention the fact that the phone number is disconnected, and the website is defunct).

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