How to Get Around the Wait at El Bulli


El Bulli uses a lottery to assign its six-month season of reservations—and every single one of them for 2007 has been assigned, just in case you were wondering. But insiders know that there's a chance you can snag a table simply by showing up and hoping for a cancellation. Luckily for those who find themselves unsuccessful in that attempt, there has always been Rafa's, a local seafood joint that is hard to find and hard to get into but well worth the effort for the exquisite fish—most of it grilled and flavored with nothing more than olive oil and seawater—served by its eponymous owner. And now there's a new place where you can seek consolation: Vi Cool, a hip little "snackbar" from master chef Sergi Arola (of La Broche fame), where live jazz performances complement a menu of salads and those little flatbreads topped like tapas that the Catalans call cocas.

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