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“Great food, terrible service”

Restaurante Levante Valencia
Ranked #207 of 3,436 Restaurants in Valencia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$24 - US$54
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Kirkwood, Missouri
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great food, terrible service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2013

Everything that has been said about the paella here is correct - it is definitely flavourful and probably some of the best. The service, however, was the worst we received in Spain. It left me wondering whether I should have chosen Casa Roberto instead.
The restaurant is housed in what looks like an office building (this wasn't an issue, but just gave it an odd atmosphere during the day) and there were only two other tables in the restaurant when we went. The waitress took our order and then we never saw her again.
We had to chase down the bottle of water we had ordered because she never brought it and, unlike the other two tables, we never received any bread with our meal.
Our waitress stood chatting to a table of what appeared to be her friends for about half an hour and never asked if everything was ok or if we wanted any more drinks (we did). She also falt-out ignored the other table when they had finished their meal.
When she finally came back to give us the check, she had added bread on as an extra charge. We questioned it and she tried to say that it was because we didn't speak Spanish that we didn't understand that this was a mandatory "cover charge", but she reluctantly agreed to remove it from the bill. I understand fully about cover charges and paying for bread (I've had this in several countries) but at least do me the favour of putting the bread on the table for me to look at if you're going to charge me for it! (or simply call it a cover charge and do away with the bread altogether)
She then proceeded to blatantly talk about us to the only other member of staff (I felt sorry for this guy as he'd has to pick up the slack when she was busy chatting to her friends). Because of this we left a bad tip, which I hate doing. But if you're going to treat me like a dumb tourist, or any less of a customer than the locals who were dining in the restaurant, then I reward that accordingly.
If you want good paella but don't mind having medicore or less-than-average service, then you should eat here.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank scthrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Víctor J V, Gerente at Restaurante Levante Valencia, responded to this review, 9 January 2014
Dear customer,
Receive our apologies. It was never our intention to mislead you or treat you dumb tourist. Apologies again for this. Thank you for rating, despite your experience.
If you back by Valencia, we would be happy to assist you and show you again as we really work.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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226 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    137
    54
    22
    8
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Culver City, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Paella Challenge Winner!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2013

Paella was a not a small part of why I chose to visit Valencia on my last trip to Europe. In my extensive research on the subject, I narrowed the contenders for best paella down to Levante or Casa Roberto, and then I decided to hit them both.

First was lunch at Restaurant Levante (the Valencia location, not the original one outside the city). Jose Andres, a famous chef who's food I really like, proclaimed Levante to be the best paella in the world. My hostel called to make reservations before my arrival and told me they were only open for lunch. I'm not sure if that means they're only ever open for lunch or just the day I happened to be going. It was about a mile from the historical center, and I walked. It is right near the park that runs through the city like a river, quite convenient for biking as well.

Levante is large, sunny, and caters to an upscale and business clientele. Lots of men in suits dining here at lunch. The server was incredulous that I, alone, wanted to order my own paella, which is meant for at least two people and takes 40 minutes to cook. She offered instead a "plate" of paella, sure I'd find that more suitable. But I wanted my own paella! I had to convince her I meant it! I had one single mushroom croquette while I waited, and it was super tasty but tiny. 40 minutes later, I had this huge seafood paella that was stunning, topped with whole and various crustaceans. It was delicious. I eagerly consumed about 2/3 of the pan- something I'm sure she's never seen a solo female diner do before or since. The rest was wrapped up for me. It did not exactly have the famous rice crust socarrat on the bottom of the pan. That made me a little bit sad, but it was so delicious I didn't care. The server told me that the chef was flown to Jose Andres's new restaurant in Las Vegas as a paella consultant. She was very nice, and I received a free coffee.

I happily consumed the leftover for paella that night for dinner at my hostel. The next night I visited the other contender, Casa Roberto. Sadly, I did not care for the flavor of Casa Roberto's paella at all. It has a strange taste almost like cinnamon. It was also greasy with mystery seafood (some round white bits that looked sort of like but did not taste like scallops, not sure if they were fish or actually scallops that were cooked to death).

Levante was far and away the winner of my Paella taste off! I will definitely return if I go back to Valencia! I would also try some of the famous paella places on the beach next time.

(In response to another review lamenting being charged for bread- this is very common in Europe, its a way of doing a cover charge. In Spain and portugal sometimes they will also bring you ham or olives without you ordering, and unless you say no (send it back) you may be charged for it.)

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank butfoodcomesfirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Víctor J V, Gerente at Restaurante Levante Valencia, responded to this review, 23 October 2014
Thank you very much by your words. I think that Casa Roberto could have a bad day . Because many of my clients just tell only nice things about Casa Roberto . I don´t know them personally . But I think they cook great paella Valenciana.
Anyway thanks for your opinion, and for your visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotonda West, Florida
Level Contributor
269 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Beautiful restaurant, very good Paella”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

Would have given this 5 stars but the meat in our Paella was a little dry. The flavor of the rice and vegy's was outstanding. Very nice decor inside. Cleanest bathrooms we have been in while visiting Valencia. They put bread on the table and then charged for it, strange. Overall a good experience. Bus 67 drops you right at the front door.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travelbound44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
130 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Paella Valenciana in its birthplace”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2012

I carefully researched where the best Paella might be in Valenciana and Levantes was the winner.
We made reservations on line ahead of time. It is not in the center of the city so a taxi was necessary. It's a lovely restaurant, quite new, sophisticated decor. I believe the chef's wife and owner greeted and seated and waited on us.
We ordered the tasting menu for 25 eu as that was the only way we could have Paella valenciana on that day. Different paellas are specials on different days. We decided to order wine by the glass since we were there at lunch. I can't tell you what it was, but it was white, and very reasonable. Had we ordered the wine by the bottle, it would only have been 8 eus!
The tasting menu included 3 starters, paella and dessert made by "our mother."
The starters were terrific..homemade croquettes (the best we had on this trip, and we had a lot of them), homemade ajoarriero (a puree of creamed potatoes, broad beans & cod) and my favorite, a "little bag of chard stuffed with black pudding".
The paella was chicken, rabbit, broad beans (fava, I think), green beans and tomato. It was very tasty...but not swoonable...There was no soccaratt...the crust that forms on the bottom. The restaurant cannot use wood burning stoves in the city, so they must use gas or electric, I can't remember. So, I was disappointed.
I frankly can't remember the assortment of homemade desserts though I do recall that they were all three delicious. I guess I'm still searching for the perfect paella!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank bryantaveMinneapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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