Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paladar Cafe Cubano

Paladar is a Cuban cafe in the Financial District.  Cuban isn't a cuisine I generally gravitate towards, but sometimes, I really start to crave yuca and plantains, so I decided to check it out.

Paladar is a cute looking place, with table seating, but I got my dishes to go.  They are up to date with modern mobile payment systems, offering both Paypal and LevelUp.

Unfortunately, I really did not like any of the dishes I got.  While not exactly the same style, it was about on par with Destino, a Peruvian restaurant, where my dining companions and I actually left after eating our appetizers, as we decided it wasn't worth ordering anything else.  Just like Destino, everything at Paladar was overly oily and completely flavorless (besides the strong oil flavor).
Charanga’s Yuca Frita & Chipotle Aioli. $6.
"Classic crispy cassava served with mildly spicy sauce"

I've been seriously craving yuca lately.  I was so exited for this.

Unfortunately, it was awful.

Visually, it didn't look great: the pieces of yuca were tiny little chunks, which was a bit disappointing.  They also looked really greasy.  But I still dug in.

They were nasty. So incredibly oily.  I did not taste the yuca at all.  Honestly, all you could taste was oil.  They were  hot, and crispy, but really not good at all.

I love dipping sauces, so I actually went for a third chunk, even after my initial dislike of the first two, excited to at least slather it in the dipping sauce.  I didn't like the sauce either.  It just tasted ... strange.

Limon Rotisserie  definitely had better yuca fries, and far, far better sauces.

$6 for the full size portion of just a few chunks (this photo is before I had any!) really seemed incredibly overpriced.  I clearly would never get this again.
Mariquitas & Mojo.  Small size.  $2.75.
"House-made plantain chips with garlic dipping sauce".

After the fail with the fried yuca, I decided to try out the plantain chips, another favorite of mine.

Just like the yuca, the plantain chips were overly oily, and didn't have much flavor to them besides the oil.  They also weren't very well salted.  I did like how crispy they were, and how large the slices were.

The mojo was incredibly disappointing.  I'm a dips girl, so I wanted it to be good, but it really wasn't.  Watery, slightly garlic-y, slight citrus tang, but really not much going on.

La Mar Cebicheria definitely had both better plantain chips, and far superior sauces.

The $2.75 price for a small was fine, but I would not get this again.
Pl├ítanos Maduros, half-portion. $2.75. 
As a quasi-dessert, I also got the maduros, fried sweet plantains.  They were much better than the yuca.  Sweet, decent flavor.  Not good exactly, as they were kinda soggy, and a bit oily.

I wouldn't get this dish again, but it wasn't horrible.  $2.75 for the half portion was a fine price.
Paladar Cafe Cubano on Urbanspoon
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