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Best Cold Soup 

Gazpacho Trio at Barlata

Cold soup isn't always about the gazpacho. In Spain's hot, dry Andalusia region, a variety of cooling bowls help keep the locals fortified against that sultry Moorish sunshine. Barlata, an artsy Iberian hangout in Oakland's Temescal district, serves three yummy examples of the chilled-chowder genre: ajoblanco, a creamy, tangy concoction of garlic, almonds, and thick golden olive oil; salmojero, a rich and smoky tomato bisque draped with Serrano ham; and an especially vernal gazpacho bursting with the flavors of cucumber, parsley, and sweet pepper. They're attractively presented in three fluted shot glasses for easy sipping, and to compare and contrast the unique tastes and textures — light and creamy, bright and hearty, sharp and silky — is to revel in the genre's multifaceted possibilities. Chef Daniel Olivella also works wonders with salt cod, oxtail and tortilla con chorizo, and the restaurant's wine bar is a friendly place to sample a wide variety of vino and jerez, and the tapas that love them.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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