Kika Tapas – I came for the Sangria but stayed for the Paella

Tony and I have been on a goal to venture out beyond South End and Malden in our date night. A few weeks ago we trekked to the other side of the river…. the tough journey to Cambridge.

Kika Tapas sits in Kendall Sq among the shiny new developments and pharma tech. The name is inspired by the work of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and the menu includes modern Spanish tapas, traditional paellas, and Latino flavored dishes. There are always fun specials and “happy hour” (i put in quotes because everyone knows Boston doesn’t do alcohol happy hours but it can do food specials).

The inside decor is super fun and funky!

We always start with patata bravas because it’s the tell all of how the rest of the tapas will be. Trust me, you pass the patata test and you know the rest of your night will be tasty. You fail… well there’s always just more drinks! The flavoring on the potato roast was perfect, but I wouldn’t have minded some extra spicy sauce.

With our first test passed, we placed in some more tapa orders while our Sangria arrived

Next was the Palta Reina which is crab meat, mango and avocado! Never had this before, but it’s definitely a fave for the future

Our final tapa was the baby lamb Chuletillas served in apricot sauce.

We only ordered three tapas because our next stop was the Paella. It takes about 30-40 minutes to make so we had to appease the hunger for a bit.

When it comes to sharing paella with Tony, we always have to take turns, I love seafood, he um does not. This time I caved and we went for the Cazador- Duck confit, chicken thighs, super tender braised short rib and chorizo paella.  Half of ended up being an awesome lunch the next day.

And on a side note of specials, Saturdays have 50% off Paella so it’s a pretty darn good deal.

Tony’s Banana and nuts dessert (he’s bananas for bananas!) While I sipped on some whiskey to help cute my cold.

All in all, not a bad night. Check out Kika Tapas in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.

Checking Out Sarma in Somerville – A Dining Review

Sarma has been on my radar to scope out for a while. Constantly being praised and hyped up, it was a shocker that last minute reservations aren’t really available. So why night we decided that we need a treat ourselves dinner out so we went night by night until a dinner time slot was open (about 6 weeks out ha!)

The interior is modeled after Turkish meyhanes, Mediterranean a la gastro pub. For those of us a little less cultured in food and vocabulary, the menu has a side glossary of common terms used in the menu (and I guess so we don’t bother the server?).

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They also have a surprisingly good beer selection and I stuck with Save the Robots, a New England Style IPA.

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First step up was the seven layer hummus that will make the rest of your hummus meals feel like a bore.

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Next up was the biscuit pork belly with jalapeño-whipped feta

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And because Tony can’t pass an opportunity to test out a new take on nachos, we got the lentil nachos with spicy feta fondue, radish tzatziki, cabbage, sprouts

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Next came the monk fish grape leaves, my favorite dish of the night. It is served in a miso avgolemono, maitake, yuzu, puffed rice

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Next came the Brisket Shawarma that looks like tacos with apple hilbeh, fenugreek, barley, everything bagel

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We wrapped up the final course with feta cheese gnocchi in a saucey loukaniko, rabe, red pepper, olive crumb.

Overall, with our hungry eyes we ended up ordering 6 small plates, a bit ambitious for the two of us. I recommend starting with 2 per person and adding on one at a time as they do come out very fast! The menu changes often with seasonally so can’t wait to return!

Sarma – 249 Pearl St. Somerville, MA  – street parking was relatively easy