Cuban food has its charm, but not at Havana Alma de Cuba! We went there on a Saturday night and it has been a while I have been disappointed by a restaurant. I am not talking about one dish that I did not like, but several. So sad. It started well: we passed in front of this restaurant several times and it seemed to be busy.
The decor is very nice, modern with some paintings representing Havana: the old cars, La bodeguita del Medio, the famous club where Hemingway or Gabriel Garcia Marquez use to go (you can enjoy this club in many countries now; in the US, it is located in Palo Alto).
We just wanted to share some plates and picked few dishes from the menu that features Cuban, Latin and Spanish specialties. The first dish was the beef empanadas:
It was served with cachucha (small pepper) salsa. The empanadas were good, the filling being moist and very tasty and the shell delightfully crispy. I just wished there was more salsa with it.
The second appetizer was the maduros:
They were just ok, missing some crispiness.
Then, I got myself the calamares Tamarindo or fried calamari with cherry tomatoes, sweet plantains and tamarind sauce.
I guess this is where it started to go down...The sauce was way too sweet and I could not eat it. Jodi was surprised because it is the first time I did not finish fried calamari. It is too bad because they were not rubbery and seemed crispy (they were drenched in this sweet sauce).
I thought it get be better with the Albondigas, meatballs with manchego cheese and tomato and oyster fricassee.
Que nenni: it was terrible. The meatballs had a weird taste and I did not like the texture.
But the worse was the montadito de chorizo:
It was Spanish chorizo that is sautéed with jalapeño and caramelized onions, served on a toasted baguette. When it came, there was like a smell that did not make it appetizing. In fact, even the presentation was not appetizing too. Well, I did not like it, the chorizo being lost in the sauce that did not taste good for me.
We were so disappointed that we did not even try desserts there. Havana Alma de Cuba was disappointing: the food was subpar and somewhat expensive compared to alternative like La Caridad in New York or La Isla in Hoboken. Would I go back? Probably not...
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