When Spain lost its empire, the world assumed they'd sunk into a centuries-long slump of total irrelevance. Stupid world: they've been secretly running a campaign of Small Plates Imperialism, and the latest mission's Michelle Bernstein's Sra. Martinez
Set in the circa-1926 post office that once housed Domo Japones, the informally elegant Martinez boasts 20ft ceilings, bold graphic floral tiles, hardwood floors, and Almodóvar posters, all in the service of conquering an entire world of grub with Spanish flavors, and Spanish portions. Cold options, available both at a sushi-esque "food bar" and throughout the resto, include cured meats, cheeses, nuts, gazpacho, and a Peruvian-style tuna tiradito w/ radish & tomato ceviche and a ponzu-like citrus/soy/ginger vinaigrette; hot stuff includes quail in harissa, crispy pork belly w/ soy/ginger vinaigrette, and rabbit loin wrapped in bacon ("Wait 'til we get our bacon on you..."). Wines are 100% Spanish and mostly rare Iberians; meanwhile, the bar emphasizes hand-made quality (no soda guns) via fresh fruit, boutique liquors (Citadelle Gin, Benromach organic single malt scotch), homemade bitters, and house concoctions like vodka with horseradish and Maker's Mark infused with smoked Kentucky ham -- almost perfect, as it doesn't come garnished with a Corvette.
If you're too hungry for small plates, the menu does have one solo gorging opportunity, an 18-oz grilled t-bone -- proving that Spain might be taking over, but America's not going down without a bite.