Hisop, what the Spanish refer to as a "bistro gastronómico," serves an avant-garde cuisine with a firm basis in its Catalan roots. Some of the dishes on the menu are hundreds of years old, only prepared with updated modern cooking methods. The restaurant is informal while still remaining serious about the food it offers. This was my first Spanish gastronomic bistro. It definitely won't be my last. The menu read very straight forward: a handful of dishes with a single main ingredient supported by a fruit, vegetable, liquor, or combination of the two. The beauty of this menu lies in its apparent simplicity; it was refreshing to not have to read a laundry list of ingredients, or an ironic single-word title.
The service was a bit odd. At first it seemed like the wait staff had just gotten home from work and we were intruding in their living room. There was a sense of lethargy or general lack of enthusiasm. But as the clock crept towards midnight (the Spanish eat late) and the restaurant's service calmed, things livened up.