It’s gritty, but charming; loud, but intimate; mostly, it’s emphatically real.
Kuba Kuba is Cuban cuisine at its best. The setting is a bit unlikely, planted in the part of a slate-roofed, residential neighborhood where you might instead expect to see a flower shop or quiet real estate office, if any commerce at all. No chairs match, blue neon lights illuminate murals over brick, heat wafts from the open kitchen, stores of jarred and canned goods fill open shelves next to diners, all surfaces are thoroughly well worn, and the food is stunning.
[Bean soup with lime sour cream, fried plantains, and braised pork shank was on the menu for us.]
[A concise wine menu centered around easy-drinking, affordable Spanish table wine—the kind of wine that drinks well in a little glass and against the bold flavors of Cuban cuisine.]
From my tasting notebook, 2009 · Casa Gran del Siurana · GR-174 (Grenache blend) · Priorat, Spain:
Plum and cherry, cut textures, and solid tannins. Intense aromas of tobacco and raisin consequence of generous time on the vine and warm late summer sun. The nose opens further, yielding yeasty bakery aromas, cinnamon, and baked apple. An interesting hint of grilled pineapple lingers late on the palate. Medium to full bodied—a touch disorganized on the finished, but not discouragingly so. The most spirited intro/mid-grade Spanish red i’ve tasted in a while.
[My favorite salt shaker…ever.]
[The last two to clear out—behind a wave of iPhone pictures, of course.]