Where: Kika Tapas – 9 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142
When: December, 2011
I’ve been walking by Kika Tapas on my way to work since they started building out the space a couple of months ago. The last month has been pretty exciting watching them install the painted wooden floors and apply the awesome “Almodovar-like” red and white wallpaper, which I love. Until I heard someone refer to the décor this way I didn’t put the connection together between the restaurant name and Almodóvar who directed the film Kika. Until I put this together I wasn’t really crazy about the name but it makes a little more sense to me now.
I saw that Kika Tapas opened last week so was excited to go there with Libby for our holiday-y dinner. I really liked the restaurant decor, its fun and funky but clean and simple, if that makes any sense at all. I dig it.
We started with a bottle of the Las Rocas Garnacha which I didn’t recognize the name of but I knew as soon as it came out that I had had it before and liked it. Its still driving me crazy as to where I previously had it.
When I was a vegetarian I used to hate going out for tapas as the table would end up sharing multiple items but with only which about 1/4 of them being vegetarian. So I’d share those and still get stuck with 1/2 of the bill and a 3/4 of an empty belly. You do the math. I now love it as I get to try so many things in one sitting instead of just having one plate of food in front of me.
We ordered the Boquerones, marinated fresh anchovy filets, while we looked over the menu. I think I have previously mentioned my newly found affinity for anchovies and you can always count on a tapas place to have them on the menu. They were garlicky and salty, just as they should be.
We then got the Gambas al Ajillo, Sizzling Garlic Shrimp, which came out just as they should – piping hot. The shrimp were really garlicky and well cooked (lucky thing we weren’t planning any canoodling with all this garlic). Next was the Ravioles de Mariscos, Lobster Crab Raviolis in a Langostino Sauce, which I think was my favorite dish of the night. I am a sucker for these rich tomato cream type sauces and this one was good. Not too heavy and just right to compliment the delicate pasta as well as to be mopped up with extra bread, one of my favorite parts of any sauce.
The next round was the Mejillones a la Salmorra, Steamed Mussels in a Spicy Tomato & Wine Sauce, which I was a little apprehensive about after my experience at Abigail’s but I am glad I plowed through it as they were really good. The sauce was, again, garlicky and a little spicy and also great to use up that second basket of bread we asked for. Last but not least we had the Queso de Cabra Montañes, Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Basil Sauce, which surprised me every time I took a bite. I knew from the description that it was goat cheese but for some reason every time I took a bite I expected a milder cheese, like a mozzarella. Each time I was like, wow, this is goat cheese!
The only off putting part of the evening is that the waiter would only look at me when he came over to our table. Granted I did order the wine, taste the wine, and order all the food but I felt as though I was on a date and I was the man which was a little awkward. Libby ended up putting dinner on her card so there’s a lesson to you all to look at both parties in the eye when talking to them!
Overall, I loved Kika Tapas and am excited to have them in my work neighborhood. I see many lunches, drinks, and dinners happening here. Its perfect for groups, friends, or even a date (although careful with all the garlic!).