Friday, December 7, 2012

The BEST meal of my life @ TICKETS Barcelona

Some of you that follow me on twitter and or facebook may have seen the anniversary band the Hubs surprised me with for our 4th anniversary!  It's a petite pave diamond band!  And it looks like a tiny wand of glitter ::SWOON:: hehehehe.

The Hubs actually surprised me with it in Barcelona right before our dinner @ Tickets.

Haha he told me during dinner that he was sweating bullets going through airport security because he was afraid it was going to set off the security alarms and ruin the surprise hahaha :p <3 <3 <3

Quickie OOTD - Jacket: UNIQUEEN, Top: H&M, Jean Leggings: HUE, Scarf: J. CREW, Necklace: ANN TAYLOR, Shoes: PRADA, Handbag: CHANEL

Best meal of my life!

That is a tall order and a mighty big claim.  

We eat a lot.. and we eat everywhere! 

Both The Hubs and I agreed that our #1 favorite restaurant in the world was 3 Michelin star Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas you can see our dining experience here.

After Tickets, Joel Robuchon has officially been bumped to #2!

Tickets is owned by the Adria brothers.  Ferran & Albert Adria of the El Bulli fame. (I've included Wikipedia links if you're interested in reading up on them :)

But for those of you that don't know and are looking for the cliff notes version basically El Bulli has received basically every award and accolade possible for a restaurant to receive.

3 michelin stars. boom. It was voted the #1 restaurant in the world for an unprecedented 5 years before it was shut down in 2012 because it was operating at such a tremendous lose.  The restaurant only operated for roughly 6 months out of a year and only served 8,000 diners even though they received on average 2 million reservation requests a year! The Adria brothers just refuse to charge money for their amazing food!  Which is sort of a crazy concept in the high end dining world.

The restaurant shut down and all sorts of rumors were spawned.. first they were just taking a break.. then they were taking a break and turning it into a culinary creative think tank.. then they were closing permanently never to reopen.  Then they were just taking a break and then re-opening as a restaurant again.. and now the website doesn't really have updated information on the current status of the restaurant.  So it's total up in the air.

Sadly I may never be able to eat at El Bulli but have no fear there is Tickets!! 

Tickets is currently being touted as one of the Top 11 Most Difficult Reservations in the WORLD!  

You can read all about it here.  

It tops the list at #4 (and interestingly enough Minibar by Jose Andres who just so happens to be one of of Ferran Adria's greatest protege comes in at #8 for all my MD/DC/VA peeps and French Laundry at #10 for all my Bay Area folks :)

You can't even call or e-mail them to get a reservation it MUST MUST be done online with their reservation service.  And reservations can only be made 2 months in advance (the 11 most difficult reservations article says 3 months but it's since been changed to 2 months since the article was written) AND basically they are booked as soon as midnight rolls around.

So exactly 60 days in advance to the day we planned to go there we were sitting at home at 11:50 pm with two laptops, an iPad, and a desktop computer all logged onto the Tickets website waiting for midnight.

Yes I am a psycho nut job.. but when I've made up my mind about something I'm gonna make it happen.. or at least the Hubs will make it happen or else have to listen to me talk about it for the rest of eternity HAHAHAHAHA.

And what do you know.. my laptop got locked out.. the Ipad froze.. but the Hubs got in with his desktop computer WOOHOOOOOO!!!! Major brownie points for the Hubby :)!

And the journey to food mecca begins!! 


The entrance to the restaurant is so fun and whimsical very much like going to the circus. 

Couple shot because it's our anniversary dinner hehe :)

Checking us on the guest list!

The "Ringmaster"! :) 

The whimsical menu!

Notice the unique eating utensils? We ate with prongs!!

The Olive-S

These deconstructed Olive's are by far one of Ferran Adria's most famous creation.  It was a hit at El Bulli and they carried them over to Tickets!

It looks like a regular olive but they aren't!  It's completely liquefied and it's being held by a really thin gelatinous layer and the inside is like liquid olive oil. So crazy cool!

Albert Adria! 

I almost had a heart attack.. I was soo starstruck hahahahaha. I snapped like a dozen photos! Unfortunately Ferran Adria was no where in sight :( but it's my understanding they tend to not work on the same nights.

AHAHAHA I kept it at a minimum and only posted 3 :) 

You're welcome hahahahahahahah.

Manchego Cheese Mini Air Bags

Omgosh these were soooooooooooooooo crazy delicious!  And they were totally mind blowing.

They are made up of many different compartments obviously there's a slice of manchego cheese on top and I thought that was it.  The mini air bags are light and crispy and wafer thin but when you bite into it's a pool of delicious melted manchego cheese!!!!!

I can't figure out how they do it while still keeping the air bag crispy and light.  We had no idea there was melted cheese inside.

HAHAHA this is when I realized there was melted gooey manchego cheese inside! :p 

Tomato Tar tare

I almost freaked because I had forgotten I had ordered the Tomato Tar tare and for a moment thought I had accidentally ordered beef tar tare hahahahah.  I don't do raw beef!  I just don't like it. Luckily it was tomato hehehe :)

Tuna tar tare cones w/ roe

Fresh and delicious! 

Avocado Cannelloni with crab and romesco sauce


Basically the BEST freaking california roll you will eat in the entire life.. but made with fresh crab and I mean STUFFED with so much crab in the smoothest creamiest texture ever.  With super fresh avocado. This dish was so good I didn't even miss the rice hahahaha.  And I LOVE RICE. muhahahahahahah

BTW it was so good we ordered a 2nd one. 

UH-HUH it.was.that.good. 


Air Baguettes w/ Jambon

This was very similar to the Manchego air bags.  It tasted like a baguette but it was hollow!!!  It was like a crispy wafer thin baguette with delicious fatty Jambon seared around the baguette bread.

Razer Clams in escabeche sauce, saffron pearls, and soy sauce shards

Fresh Razor clams ceviche style!

Raw Oyster w/ its" pearl"

Hahaha this was funny because The Hubs thought the "pearl" was real! 

It was actually another one of Ferran Adria's ingenious deconstructed gelatinous creations.  The inside of the "pearl" is bursting with raw oyster flavor.

"Molette" with double chin

I honestly still am not sure what this was but it was FREAKIN' DELICIOUS!

It was some kind of freshly made puffy flat bread with I think seared pork belly that was and some kind of melted cheese.  Heaven!

(SO good that I ordered another one -___- I know.. I know hahaha)

Gelatin Figs with Raspberry Sorbet, White Chocolate and Gingerbread

This was sooooooooooooooooooooo good!  

I love love love Figs and this seriously did not disappoint.  And the gingerbread was soft and pillowy and such a unique pairing but it was delicious together!

"The Egg"

This was actually a dessert!  In a real egg shell!  The top was a mango sorbet as the "yolk" 

The "white" part of the egg was a liquid meringue.

I forgot to photograph the bottom part but the very bottom of the egg shell was a crunchy gingerbread which was suppose to be like the "bread" in which you spread the "soft boiled egg" on! So cute!

The best part of the evening was that we were seated right next to the dessert station so we could watch them create all of their crazy mad scientist desserts hehehe.

I specially ordered something that wasn't on the menu that I had read about online and here they are making it!!

Now I know why they don't have it on the menu it's SUPER labour intensive! 

See the naked tree branches?? :)

Pouring the sugar 

Cotton candy!

But that's not all because come on what fancy restaurant doesn't do cotton candy these days.. I mean hello remember Taylor on RHBH hahahahaha.

If you watch Bravo then you TOTES know what I'm referring to (and don't lie you know you TOES watch those shows. bahahahahaha)

Can you guess what it is?? :p

Here they are sprinkling different colored sugars on top of the cotton candy balls.  Each of the different colored sugars were different fruit flavors!! 


Cotton Candy Tree!!!! 

Hehehehehehehe :)

We were the only ones that had ordered it that night.. so everyone was turning around to look at it and they even took pictures of it hahaha the "tree" caused quite a commotion hahaha.

I'm so giddy and excited hahahahahahahahaha

The "dirt" the "tree" is planted in is actually real chocolate cocoa and chocolate shavings!

Hehehe even the guy at the next table is super excited bahahahaha!

Each of the trees are sprinkled with a different fruit flavoring and there's tiny flower petals and real fruits in each of the "trees" hehehe. 

While I was frantically snapping pictures some of the flower petals and fruits starting falling out of the cotton candy balls like it would out of a real tree hahah and the Hubs kept yelling to eat the falling fruit!


Why am I such a dork -___-

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3! 

"Picking fruit" out of the "Trees" :p

Too busy to be bothered to take a photo haha.

Since the cotton candy tree was not on the menu we kept joking about what the price was.  The Hubs guessed it was like $50 bucks.. so every time a piece of flower or fruit dropped out of the tree he would go "That's a dollar you better eat that" HAHAHAHA

Some of the other amazing dessert creations!  

Look at the giant gummy bear!

I just about died over the mini Croquembouche (literally translate to Cream Puff Cake) with the little bees!

I wanted to reach into the case and just pick off a cream puff to eat hahaha.


Hubs was SHOCKED at the bill.  He didn't actually look at the menu when we sat down because I had done so much extensive research on the restaurant prior to us even reaching Barcelona that he knew I was just going to order whatever I wanted.

On top of that I also ordered a number of things that weren't even ON the menu AND halfway through the meal I just started ordering things from OTHER people's table that I thought looked good.. and not to mention the several time I RE-ORDERED something because it just tasted so good the first time around.

To be totally honest by the end of the meal I had absolutely no idea what our bill would be like.. so before the bill came the Hubs and I were throwing out guesses and Hubs guessed that it would be $400 Euro's which is equivalent to roughly $500 USD.  I guessed $200 Euro's.

The bill? 

A whopping 132 Euro's!!!

And the Cotton Candy Tree a whopping $8 Euro's!

We were both stunned. 


Based on the price, presentation, the staff, the fun environment, the caliber of the food and the pure genius that is the Adria brothers this meal has officially surpassed what originally held my #1 spot Joel Robuchon.

So if you are ever planning a trip to Barcelona.. promise promise me that you will go to Tickets!  It is a truly unbelievable experience unlike any other! 

Trying to walk off 10,000 calories hahaha

Happy 4th Wedding Anniversary Booboo :)

Thank you for making all of my dreams come true!


  1. This reminds me of a Top Chef episode! The food looks amazing, I bet it tasted just as wonderful and exciting! Congrats on your anniversary. The ring is gorgeous :) I want my wedding band to look like that

  2. WOW! This looks like an amazing place to eat. I can see why it's hard to get a reservation.

  3. your husband picks out the best gifts and i always love reading and looking at your foodie adventures!

  4. Okay, this could be one of the cooler posts I've seen in a while! First, congrats on the ring, the awesome hubs, and the anniversary. Second, holy schmoly does that restaurant look amazing!! I've never been anywhere like that!!

  5. The ring is gorgeous and the food looks amazing! I will have to keep Tickets in mind if I ever (hopefully in the near future) visit Barcelona!

  6. you guys are the cutest ever!!! when i get married (in the distant future, haha!), i want to have eating adventures with my husband too, haha. ;)

    p.s. i will definitely put this on my list! :D

    <3, Mimi
    Monogrammed Tote Bag Giveaway

  7. Happy anniversary to you two! :D
    Everything looks...amazing. I can't even fully imagine how all of the food is because it sounds so unbelievable LOL I can see why it's so hard to get a reservation. And the price for how much food you order! Mind blown..haha. It sounds like a totally chill and great place to have a very unique meal! Going on my must try list now :X

  8. awww your hubs is such a sweetheart. happy anniversary!
    i love the food, the cotton candy tree is the best idea ever!!

  9. wow! this restaurant is so unique! i want to try everything you ate lol...

    btw, figs are amazing! do you like dried ones too? dates are up there with being one of my favorites as well lol

  10. you guys always have the best food adventures!

  11. WHAT??!!!! OMG Lisa!!!! Why didn't you blog this when I was visiting back in January this year and in 2007 :P :P :P

    I mean holy smokes that was SUCH a reasonably-priced meal. Dude, I'd totally go for the cotton candy tree. Such a novelty! Did you eat all the "dirt"? hehe

  12. I die of jealousy.

    And that ring! Happy anniversary :)

  13. omg.. you lived in the place where I wanna be...

    die of jealousy<3

    thanks for the sweet comments



  14. Everything looks so fun! I love ordering off the menu and having people stare at what I ordered.

    I must admit that the cotton candy dish looks the most amazing, even though I feel guilt over not saying the olives. I've read about the olives and was trying to convince my chemistry teacher to help me make one last year. Every time I explained to him what I wanted to do, he told me just to eat an olive instead and then I told him is wasn't the same and he just looked at me all confused. XD

  15. OK..everyone's going to say this, but I can't help myself COTTON CANDY TREE <3!!! lol You and your husband are the sweetest couple EVER. You two need your own reality TV show. Fo' serious.

  16. Holy crap you lucky girl! Your new ring is beautiful! You two are the most adorable things ever! So sad about El Bulli.. was my #1 dream restaurant to eat at before I die.. Everything looks so so amazing! Your blog is seriously my crack.. haha!

    xoxo, Julie @ OBSESSED

  17. LOVE!!!
    I'm a major tapa kind of girl and i promise you if i ever visit barcelona I'll definitely dine there!
    The cotton candy tree looks so awesome! Definitely something I would order :p
    I'm so hungry now and it's later afternoon where I am. Look like I will have to pop out for a quick break and grab something to eat now :p

    Happy anniversary to the both of you! and how sweet of your husband to surprise with a ring :D

  18. oh im so jealous...!!!

    xoxo Wengie

  19. Happy Anniversary!! What a wonderful surprise!! Dinner looks so good! Glad you and hubby had a wonderful day! Gorgeous ring!!

  20. oh my goodness that note is just about the sweetest thing ever! i hope you had the best time together :)

  21. That place looks so yummy! I love that you ordered the cotton candy tree dessert :D

  22. awww happy anniv! love the ring lisa! the hubs is just the sweetest!


  23. That place looks phenom! You and hubby are lucky, what an experience! (And of course, happy anniversary!)

  24. Really cute your outfit, really lovely pictures sweetie, the food looks delicious!


    Sakuranko Blog
    My Facebook Fan Page

  25. Hahaha! Your hubs is really funny. I like the egg looking dessert but the cotton candy tree is a winner. Really interesting place. Love the food presentation, too!

  26. LOL at the ipad and laptop incident! I can't be that determined to make reservation!
    And it would have been so funny if the ring triggers the detector thing.
    You always have fun stories. Always looking forward to your updates, Lisa!

  27. LISA! you are so lucky! I am dying to go there but they are closed all through the Christmas holidays when we will be in Barcelona (Europeans! come on!) everything looks amazing and I am very, very jealous!

  28. Thank you SO SO much for this restaurant review. We were thinking about going somewhere for Lunar New Year and Barcelona is now tops on the list. I am for sure ordering the cotton candy tree. I also thought about you because I am contemplating a Chanel purchase and may get a vintage camera case. I already have one but this one is Chevron so I wonder if it's worth it (or if it's time to move onto something else...decisions!)

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  29. Oh Lisa, you never seem to fail me with all the food photos. Your satisfying expression is so priceless!


  30. You have the sweetest husband. So happy for both of you! :)

  31. Awesome place !! Fabulous present too :)

  32. that ring is so beautiful! and congrats on your anniversary. Amazing post with amazing pictures! :)

    want to follow each other? :)

  33. The food looks so amazing! I'm really happy for you the alarm at the airport didn't go off :) Congratz


  34. the restaurant looks so amazing! so much delicious food! the cotton candy tree looks huge!!!! were you able to finish all of it? haha....

  35. Every time I think your husband has given 100% again, he surpasses himself AGAIN. You two are the ABSOLUTE cutest & look like you're always having a blast! This place looks INCREDIBLE!!!!

  36. Aww...omg Lisa, congrats to you two! I can't believe it's been 4 years. I remember when you got engaged with the cupcake story so he is seriously the best to keep surprising you year after year. AND I will definitely go to Tickets. I thought the bill was gonna be like 10 times that. SO crazy low for how fancy the food it.

    Such a fun post! Congrats again


  37. I totally was enthralled with El Bulli after watching an episode of "No Reservation". You are a true foodie, you do your research and will travel the world for amazing food. *sigh* My hubby is a steak and potato fella...good and bad thing. He is easy to cook for but picky when we go out to eat, LOL.

    Congrats on you anni!! Tell the hubby he did a good job :-D

    ~Jane B.

  38. i absolutely adore you! You and your husband are the cutest, funnest couple. I love reading about your adventures in your travels, your shopping and your food.

  39. Awwwww girl, that is just the sweetest. Your hubs just won the Most Awesome Hubs award. Cheers to your both! :)

  40. happy 4th year anniversary!! the band looks gorgeous and you are one lucky lady. xox

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. OMG! The food photos are so beautiful! I love eggs and california rolls and girl, you made me crave for them so bad! Lol

    But nothing beats the last photo in this post. You two look so good together! :)

  43. sweet, the note! And i just totally sent the link to this post to my foodie friend in Australia who's going to spain soon...

  44. i am so hungry when i look at it :)

  45. Omg!! Everything looks so amazing!! I live vicariously through You with the food adventures. I want a cotton candy tree!! Happy 4th anniversary!!!

  46. The ring is beautiful. Your descriptions of the restaurant are so good that I want to go so badly. Happy 4th aniversary.

  47. OMG LISA its been a long time i stepped into the blogger and i love that i see the first thing is about your post to the worlds ... being a culinatian myself!!! i havent visited that amazing place... now i have too...

    ♥ ☮