Contemporary Columbia Road feels like one of those twee, fake streets in a film shoot. Among the chichi little accessories and homeware shops, the art galleries and the restaurants and cafés, Laxeiro fits right in – complete with local artwork, blond wooden furniture, Farrow & Ball paintwork and friendly staff. Would that the dishes matched up to this idyll.
On a long menu, they certainly sounded tempting, and authentic too: paella, morcilla, pisto and fabada were all offered, with meat-free snacks including such staples as tortilla and pimientos de padrón. We ordered the lot, and more besides, excited by the positive buzz of the busy restaurant despite the early evening hour. Sadly, it all left something to be desired: rubbery tortilla; near-cold morcilla rice sausage; lukewarm pisto topped by a plasticky egg; greasy pimientos; and a tomato and onion salad that was tired and tasteless. The fabada was too close to baked beans for our liking, but was at least hot – our only dish that was.
A shame… with the rise in popularity of small plates, the East End could really use a decent tapas joint.