Mis Trucos on Davie, Vancouver

Updated: 4th July 2012; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

One of the things Suanne and I enjoy in life is having dinner with friends — dinners that are unrushed, with no agenda and purpose other than get together and talk, talk, talk. We had a great time with TS and JS (Eating Club Vancouver) and ET and Christina (Doesn’t Tazte Like Chicken) last Friday.

TS and JS organized this. When they invited us, we dropped our Friday date plans for this. It had been a while since we last met up for Dim Sum at the Top Gun J&C in Richmond.


All these while I thought Mis Trucos was on Commercial Drive. I am not sure what made me thought of that. I almost drove to Commercial Drive!

That Friday night was the Opening Ceremony night of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. Driving across the Granville Bridge, we were caught in a traffic snarl — almost a gridlock. So, instead of chancing it, we parked our car immediately after the bridge to walk. And guess what … the road was so empty and quiet all the way from the foot of the Granville Bridge to Mis Trucos on Davie and Thurlow.


Mis Trucos calls themselves a Mediterranean tapas bar. We were kind of surprised how simple and small this place is — just about 8-10 tables in a very casual setting. We were also surprised how empty Mis Trucos was on a Friday night.

The interior was very dark — while romantic to some, but for us, it’s difficult taking pictures.


The menu is also simple. Just a 1-pager. Most of them are tapas size items. Actually some of them are so small I don’t know if I want to call it tapas. It is so small, I might not even call it bite-size.

Not knowing what most of these are like, we just left all the ordering to TS and JS.


Like this one. The Gilda is Black Olive wrapped with anchovy. This is $1.90 … each!

OK, you may call me cheapskate — permission granted but I thought it was overpriced.

On the menu, it says that it is $1.90 each or $6.00 for four.

But we have six of us and when we ordered one for each of us, we were billed $9.80. Basically they bill is one order of four for $6 and the other two orders of one for $1.90.

It tasted really salty. Moreover Suanne and I are not fans of olive as much as we tried to like them.


Got to hand it to Mis Trucos. The Foie Gras was excellent. I recorded four long “Mmmmmms” from ET. ET is a picky eater (Christina said so many times! LOL!) … and so I reckon if he approves, it has to be good.

It was. The sweet and tangy jelly balanced the rich creamy foie gras. This is $17.40 for six bite sizes. Good but expensive.


The Coca is a Catalan flatbread topped with chorizo and anchovy. We got two Coca at $4 each.

This is really nice and especially with the really … thin and crisp bread base.


The Morcilla is black sausage, apple in chard; grape fruit vinaigrette. It has a nice tang to it.

$15.50 for six small plates. Nice … but expensive.


Suanne said that the Octopus was chewy but it was so small that I can’t determine the chewiness. The potato foam was firmer than we expected.


$15.50 for six. Nice but expensive.

The Corned Duck (looked like a fish when I ate it – I could be wrong) were served with some potato salad.

$16.40 for six plates. Nice but … oh well.


Then there is the Chorizo Stuffed Squid with white beans. Which is kind of salty and small too. $9 for four.


Bacalao brandade and Crostini is what I liked best. $7.


On the menu are some mains. We ordered a couple of mains to share. The above is the Ribeye ($25). I think they cut it into bite sizes for us when they knew that we are sharing. This was not on the menu and was the special of the day.


The Lobster Risotto was marvelous. $18.


Believe it or not, the six of us also shared the dessert. It was so small that when we divided it to six equal shares, it was like just a spoonful. LOL!

The Vanilla Pannacotta above was $6.


The Molten Chocolate Cake served with ice-cream was $8.


Mis Trucos does not have much option for non-alcoholic drinks. They have pop but told us that they can make a grapefruit + soda drink ($4) if we wanted.


Sorry for the brevity of this post. This is because we had such a great time chatting that we did not really talk about the food we had, nor did I really pay attention to the food.

The food at Mis Trucos was pretty good for the most part and I enjoyed it. But I just can’t help but keep thinking how overpriced everything is. This is one of those places where a few dollars a plate is nothing but when added up it is quite a lot.


The bill was $196. The kicker was when they brought out the little handheld credit/debit card device, for the TIP, their default is 20%! We felt it was quite presumptuous too even though there is a button that says “OTHER”.

So we ended up paying about $235 for the six of us. You tell me if this is worth it.

But we had a great time for sure. TS/JS and ET/Christina are such great dining companions. Wait for next week … we are going next to an Alaskan King Crab dinner and I bet it will be a better deal than this one.

OK, you may continue to call me a cheapskate.

Mis Trucos on Urbanspoon

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  1. Eat. Travel. Eat!

    That is a lot of mini sized items! I don’t think you are a cheapskate as they even charge for bread and butter (3 dollars!) here. Never seen that anywhere except for in a bakery! I’d say some were worth it like the lobster risotto but the mini bites were certainly quite expensive :).

  2. Carina

    Sorry Ben,
    But the price for the meal you paid seems way too extortionate. Given the portion sizes are even smaller than UK even if it is tapas, unless the food is on par with El Bulli/Michelin starred, I wouldnt pay that amount. Plus isnt there like a global recession going on? and like if they are charging so much their ingredients had better be like the best organic produce from Spain… Sorry for the rant, but really feel for you guys. And 20% on top.. dont get me started..

  3. I too found it expensive, overpriced for the items that we had. Most of the items were good, but they weren’t mindblowingly great that they would justify the price. Just as TS hasn’t met a ramen that she love, I haven’t found a “tapas” meal that I love. I always feel unsatisfied when it comes to “tapas” dining. Maybe I’m just so uncool. 😉

    The 20% default tip is uncalled for. This ain’t fine dining and the service we had was adequate, not exceptional.

    1. JMH

      It does say Other as an option on the debit device for your tip so calm down. You have the ability to choose…

      This is just a restaurant people. They are charging what they feel they have to charge to make money. It is not “extortionate” There is no need to “feel for them”. If they don’t like it they don’t have to go back.

      And I love the bit about it was too dark to take pictures. Because every restaurant’s lighting is designed for bloggers…

    2. LotusRapper

      JS: have you been to Tapastree on lower Robson ? Of all the tapas restaurants I’ve been to in Vancouver, I’d say Tapastree and Bin 941/924 are the most “satiating”.

  4. Marike

    I agree with you Ben. It’s a bit too much for what you got. But luckily you had enough people so you could try alot of items.

    And you aren’t cheap, you just want to get what you paid for! 😉

  5. Shirl

    I think Tapastree, Guu or La Bodega is more bang for your buck. The tapas looked great though but it’s more like a place for a special occasion.

    1. LotusRapper

      Haha Shirl, I just mentioned Tapastree above. Glad to see a fellow Tapastree-er here 🙂

      I would add Gyoza King to the list, if they can be categorized as tapas.

      A few years ago I began to find La Bodega tiring, as their menu hasn’t really changed at all with the times. I stopped going.

  6. Hey, I didn’t know we caused you to cancel DATE NIGHT! =)

    Oh yeah, that piece of octopus was exceptionally small. But, all the dishes/items seem bigger on your photographs! LOL.

    JS is already very excited about the King Crab… Well, I’m looking forward to the dinner too, but JS keeps mentioning it again and again. 😉

  7. ET

    Boy, sounds like there will be some pretty high expectations to meet this week huh? 🙂

    We always look forward to this time of the year since we prefer live king crabs over the frozen ones they sell at Costco. Too bad the season is always so short.


  8. Elaine

    What an expensive meal that looks quite…ummm…ordinary…
    No wonder there’s no one on Friday night =P

  9. Michele

    “What an expensive meal that looks quite…ummm…ordinary…
    No wonder there’s no one on Friday night =P”

    Couldn’t agree more. They look nothing special.

    Ben is not a cheapskate. The restaurant owner is a cheapskate serving skimpy food for big bucks. That’s just not a way to run a restaurant and expect customers to return.

    1. Doug

      I agree, this restaurant should re-do its menu concept.

      They are losing business because they aren’t understanding what customers desires! Restaurant owners have to “walk a mile in there customer shoes” to phrase my favorite quote.

      If I was an owner of that restaurant I wouldn’t pay that much money for that type of food. We’re not stupid, we know how much the product cost and know you can still make a large profit.

  10. HM

    Yum! Alaska King crab…tis the season for these juicy, meaty crabs! In our 4th round last weekend, we decided to cook a 13.5 pounder at home for a change from the usual restaurant 3 ways. We had it steamed with garlic sauce & the roe, steamed with eggs, spring onions, fish sauce & a little sesame oil…..so very delicious & not at all dissappointing to the 8 of us savouring the goodness of the crab!

  11. goke

    $3 for bread?! that’s a bit ballsy as are the rest of the prices. It all looked tasty though. A local Asian takeout place here in Victoria “Foo” also has a credit/debit machine that defaults to 20%, absolutely ridiculous for any establishment especially a takeout joint.

  12. Ed Lau

    Hmmm, the prices here seem a bit excessive. This place was on my radar but reading your review, seems like the price isn’t worth it.

    On ambiance and presentation alone, though…decent date spot?

    1. Ben

      Yeah, Mis Trucos is a decent date spot. Prices aside, the food was good. I don’t want to take that away from Mis Trucos.

  13. Michelle

    Is anyone organizing any Alaska King Crab feast?

  14. kris

    i’m sorry you found your meal to be overpriced. we use the best quality sustainably farmed meats and most ethically caught fish we can find. this means we pay a premium for our products. this makes it difficult to compete value wise with restaurants that use commodity meats and fish. i guess that means it’s a choice we have to make when we purchase our food. for me i care about where my food comes from and will happily pay more to ensure the livelihood of our local farmers and fishermen. if you knew the costs associated with doing business in vancouver and having ethics you might think twice about accusing me of extortion. thank you all for your comments.
    kris barnholden,
    mis trucos tapas

    1. Ben

      Hi Kris: Thanks for providing your perspective on Mis Trucos. Despite my comments on prices (and portions), I want to call out the the food was good and we liked it. We had a great time too dining in Mis Trucos. Ben

  15. KJ

    I’m very symphathetic towards the restauranteur here. He’s obviously trying to create something unique and special, based on high quality products/ingredients and a concept that is actually closer to true tapas (modern style) than anyhting else in Vancouver. People don’t seem to know what tapas means. Tapas is not a small sized entree, unlike some restaurants in Vancouver try to pass it off as! Tapas is a small dish that should fit on the top of a beer glass. That’s what it is. Tapas means “lid”. That is the meaning of the word. And don’t get me started on people complain that 2 dollars for a bite-sized item of high quality fish is too expensive? Yes, then you truly are a cheap scate. If you are looking for bargains and cheap eats, don’t go to a place like this. I have been to Mis Trucos 4-5 times and have found it to be exceptional. I have tried other tapas places like the Bins, and found most of the food there either bland, too salty or inedible. I have never been disappointed at Mis Trucos, and I don’t find the food prices too high at all. Maybe some people don’t have the palate to appreciate the quality, and in those cases maybe they should just go to the local $1 sushi place or to other cheapo places like AYCE chinese or japanese in the city. There are tons of place like that. There are NO places serving authentic mediterranean tapas. La Bodega serves traditional tapas, and Bin, Tapastry etc, serve west coast food in small plates. That’s not tapas. I’m not saying I have liked everything I ate at Mis Trucus 100% each time, there have been some things here and there that I didn’t like as much. But not because it was bad quality or value, it’s just a matter of taste really. But what I do think that people should refrain from proclaiming that this is “not what people want” just because you don’t want it or like it, or that it’s “too expensive” just because you can’t really afford to eat there. Maybe this sounds like an employee rant, but I have nothing to do with this restaurant other than that I am a customer and I like their food, and I wish I could go more often because yes, it does add up and they are not the cheapest place in town. But you do get what you pay for and I’d rather pay for quality than eat bad food. Plus when considering that 50% of all restaurants fail because of cash flow problems, doesn’t this tell us that most restaurants are in fact not too expensive, they are most likely too cheap, and the only reason prices are as low as we are used to is because of stiff competition. So don’t presume you should be able to get delicious bite of quality food for less than two dollars, as then you really are cheap. Two dollars is not exactly a lot of money these days! They have to buy that fish, and make it/prepare it or cook it, then serve it, wash the dish you ate it from, and pay the rent in the building you ate it in, the power for the lights, the oven, etc. The profit on a $2 bite of food is maybe 25 cents, if that! And finally, regarding Mis Trucos. If this food was served in a fancier location/setting with slightly more formal/professional wait staff and cost just a tad more, it could easily be worth a Michelin star or at least a Bib Gourmand. I have truthfully had several better tasting courses at Mis Trucos than I have at West or Lumiere (RIP), for instance. Just don’t expect being waited on head and food. This is a casual place, the service is casual. It’s supposed to be like that, and not overly in your face. I go for the food and I have never been disappointed. I would recommend giving it a try, and keeping an open mind. Besides, when it comes to tipping, the standard tip should be a minimum 15%. If you were satisfied, give 17-18% and if it was exceptional, give 20%. If you are not tipping at least 15% you are a cheap scate!

    1. Ben

      Hi KJ:

      That was a lot you wrote there and believe it or not, I enjoyed reading it. I would like to have everyone re-read this post of Mis Trucos. I would also like to call out the following points: (1) I enjoyed the meal, (2) I felt that the pre-tax tab of $196 for six people way too expensive, (3) We did tip 20% even though the service was not exceptional (it was good).

      I think you just did not like my review and started calling names (which I am fine with because I don’t have a problem). Let’s look at Mis Trucos review on UrbanSpoon (63% like) and in Dinehere.ca (with 2.5 star for value).

      Hehehe … Mis Trucos a Michelin star candidate? You gotta be kidding. Calling me a cheapskate is OK (I call myself a value seeker :-)) but I have you know that I had dined in a two star el Bulli Michelin restaurant before (link here) … and no less, in Seville Spain, the home of tapas. I think I know value when I see it. Sorry I just don’t agree with what you wrote but I invite healthy debate.


      1. HM

        Kudos Ben for being a value seeker!

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