Happy Friday! It's especially happy for me because I'm on vacation next week! Woo-hoo!
My sister came down to visit me today while her car was in the shop nearby. We ended up grabbing some lunch at Santouka where I ran into Emil. He commented that we keep running into each other and we do but only because he likes a lot of the same foods that I do and he runs all the races so I'm bound to run into him at a couple of them. Swear that I am not stalking you! ha ha. End of tangent.
After work, the husband and I went to get some dinner at Bella Cuba. I don't know why but I suddenly got a craving for paella today out of nowhere so I did a little web surfing and found Bella Cuba. Strange thing was that I didn't even end up ordering the paella. If you come here for paella, just know that it takes 45 minutes for them to cook it up. I'm sure it's worth the wait.
I was going to wait a couple of days before posting about this restaurant but I decided to just write about it today because I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some other stuff to write about come Monday. So without further ado, here is my first Cuban food experience.
The restaurant is very cozy inside. I didn't take a photo because I didn't want to be rude while people were trying to enjoy their dinner but trust me it is the kind of place that I would take friends to for a nice casual meal. As soon as I walk in, I see that almost everyone is drinking sangria. I hear that they have some pretty good sangria here. Thinking back I have regrets that I didn't just order some. I guess I'm going to have to go back. ;0)
As we were looking over the menu, the waiter brings us some bread. Not just any bread but buttery garlic toast. The husband commented that it tasted like the bread from a grilled cheese sandwich except without the cheese. He was right. Tasty!
We shared an order of chicken empanadas and they were amazing! An order is $5.50 and consist of two good sized empanadas. These are also available with spinach or beef filling. The filling was super flavorful and the crust was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. For me, the secret to a good empanada is the filling and this one is done right. Very good.
I decided to order the Arroz Amarillo Con Camarones (Shrimp w/ Yellow Rice) $16.95. It had all the amazing flavor of paella but in a more manageable size. The portion was still very generous with lots of fresh shrimp nestled in a bed of very savory and flavorful rice topped with peas and red pepper. I could not stop eating this. Good thing I have a pretty long run tomorrow.
So how was my first experience trying Cuban food? Que delicioso!
3930 South Bristol Street, #114
Santa Ana, CA 92704