Can Do It

Resurrecting Barlata's canned latas program

Name a restaurant Barlata, and there are bound to be cans involved.

So when Daniel Olivella opened his Catalonia-inspired spot in Oakland's Temescal district earlier this year, the casual restaurant featured a wall of latas: imported cans from Spain filled with standout ingredients like sardines, octopus, white asparagus and bonito.

But the customers didn't take the bait, and the array of aluminum goodness was cleared away. The rest of Barlata's conceit remains intact. At its easygoing heart, Barlata is a tapas bar, and it doles out a panoply of traditional bites, including tortilla española, gambas a la plancha and patatas bravas.

We're still mourning the loss of the latas, though. So to cope, we had Olivella give us the recipe for one of Barlata's cold tapas (pictured): piquillo peppers stuffed with shrimp and white asparagus (click here to download the recipe).

The dish is a celebration of Spain's fond embrace of preserved goods. Two key ingredients–roasted piquillo peppers and canned white asparagus–are both available at the nearby Spanish Table in Berkeley, which is now ground zero for dealing with can withdrawal.

Barlata, 4901 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th St.), Oakland; 510-450-0678 or barlata.com