At a time when restaurants close/change hands quicker than ‘bitcoins’ or houses, and struggling restaurants face an uncertain future, it is heart warming to know that some places continue to thrive. In this case Pepe and family at Playa Bella restaurant on the New Golden Mile. 50 years on, this unashamedly Spanish eatery serving authentic, hearty, full flavoured, belly stretching plates of lovingly prepared grub, is still talked about by generations of residents and visitors to the area. While not in Marbella, it is the western side and ranks alongside its neighbour when it comes to established restaurants, though not many of 50 years and, sadly not all under the same proprietorship. When I ran Tikitano in the early 2000’s the number of clients that would rave about Playa Bella, not in competition with us as we were completely different, but if some owners/operators, had the loyal clients that PB has, they would still be in business; parents, whose parents had gone to the restaurant and were now introducing their children to the same gambas pil-pil, roasted shoulder of lamb, churasco of beef, fillets of sole with shellfish and a traditional Rabo de Toro (Oxtail).
Only goes to show, real food, real people and served with love is why family restaurants will always (hopefully) survive.