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Just recently back in town after a leisurely sojourn in Andalucia and suffering bad withdrawal symptoms, we headed down to cozy old Barraca. It’s not the most creative Spanish restaurant in Tokyo, perhaps, nor the best-known. Nor does it operate at anything like those late, late Spanish hours. But for us it’s the place that most closely approximates the easy, sunny ambience and great range of foods you find at so many tabernas throughout the south of Spain.

It’s certainly not short on patina. The walls are covered with the graffiti of years past, and a curious amalgam of artifacts clutter the ceiling space: fossilized baguettes; plastic grapevines; ancient fishing nets; wizened corncobs; and plump hams suspended from their trotters, each with one of those upside-down paper umbrellas to catch the oozing drips.

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