Alejandro Pages didn’t fall far from the family tree. More than 100 years ago, his grandfather served food in the homes of Spanish royalty, and Alex’s own father opened a country inn—where he both raised and served sheep and goats—as well as a handful of other restaurants in Catalonia. Some of Alex’s earliest memories are of hiding under the kitchen tables at these eateries and learning the culinary arts at his father’s elbow. As a young man, he continued to frequent restaurant kitchens as an event planner, but his passion for kitesurfing drew him into that professional career. It was when Alex was flying to Hawaii to meet a kitesurfing sponsor that he first visited LA and fell in love with the city.
Before long, Alex left Spain for California and was dishing up paella at the tapas bar and gourmet-foods shop he dubbed Little Spain. Here, Alex’s guests perch upon cherry-red barstools amid sunny yellow walls and sink their forks into small dishes of garlic shrimp, fresh goat cheese, and serrano ham. Full-fledged entrees with meatballs and octopus slay appetites at tables spread out over a covered patio, with Spanish wines washing down bites and flamenco nights further enlivening the atmosphere. Guests can also drop by Alex's market for gourmet Spanish cheeses, olives, and meats that they can serve in their own kitchens or use to lure the grizzly bear out of their basement.