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Asiana, Madrid

4 Travesía de San Mateo
Tel: 34 91 310 0965
view web site ›'s insider take:

You'll think you're in the wrong place for a few minutes after you ring the unmarked doorbell of a deserted antique store—until a stylish server emerges from somewhere, opens the door, and ushers you into a romantic urban netherworld. There, you'll dine amid pan-Oriental antiques strewn around the basement of a Brooklyn-esque warehouse. The only menu is a set meal priced under $100, but it would be a bargain for twice that: As many as 20 of young chef Jaime Renedo's small courses await, and they are exercises for the intellect just as they are for the palate. A dark olive biscuit sandwiching Parmesan foam masquerades as an Oreo cookie. A postmodern Rice Krispies treat is prepared with saffron, like a retro-pop paella. Ever had a foie gras Cuba Libre? Renedo's aspic jelly atop a smooth terrine is made with rum and Coca-Cola. Asiana stands head and shoulders above the many inept Adrià wannabes. For a more economical taste of Asiana, try Next Door, which is, you guessed it, right next door. The same innovative cooking is served, but in a more casual atmosphere.—Updated by Guy Fiorita

Open daily 10:30 am to 2 pm and 5 to 8:30 pm.

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