My best and oldest friend in the whole world turned 21 this weekend!  Sara and I have known each other since we were three, and even though we could not be any more different, we have remained friends for the majority of our lives.  Because my amazing grandfather has the same birthday as Sara, I was busy celebrating with the fam when Sara did the things 21 year olds do this weekend, so I took her out to lunch the day after her birthday.

sassy ladies back in the day

It has been well documented on this blog how much I love pasta and modern American food, so I thought it was a good idea to branch out a little and try something a little bit ethnic – I chose tapas.  I am SO GLAD I did.  How have I never had tapas before??? This is a mystery to me, but I can assure you that I will have them again, and again, and again, for the rest of my life.

celebrating my 21st with some foliage

Cha Cha Cha was a great introduction to tapas.  Located on slightly touristy, slightly grungy (only in San Francisco) Haight Street, this place was filled with both locals and tourists, and I can truly say that every single thing on the menu looked amazing.

sangria is good

We started with a half pitcher of sangria, which surprisingly I have never had before.  Apparently Cha Cha Cha is famous for their sangria, but since I really have nothing to compare it to, I can neither confirm nor deny this.  I did enjoy it however!

i have always been a shrimp lover

For our dishes, we first ordered the Cajun shrimp.  It was sauteed in a spicy cream sauce, and I LOVED it.  You get some complimentary bread, and it was perfect for mopping up the extra sauce (which is pretty spicy by the way…no complaints here though!).

if you don't like mushrooms i automatically think you are a freak

We also got the sauteed mushrooms with sherry wine, garlic, and herbs.  This were incredible.  Nice tender mushrooms and delicious sauce, plus they did not skimp on the shrooms at all!

deceivingly simple

We also got the spanish rice and black beans.  I generally wouldn’t order something like this at a restaurant because I could easily make it at home, but these were very well done. I definitely cleaned the plate.  The olives were a great touch in the rice, and the beans were perfectly cooked.  We also ordered the chicken paillard, but unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture of it.  I think that was Sara’s favorite dish (mine was….ALL OF THEM) – it was charbroiled chicken with a great dijon mustard cream sauce.  Definitely sop worthy for the bread.

sra with some sangria

It was a really fun meal, and I’d go back here in a heartbeat.  Plus, I got to enjoy some one on one time with one of my favorite people, plus some tasty food…not too bad.


4 responses »

  1. Ann says:

    Hey there! I love Tapas! There’s something fun about a meal that is made entirely of “appetizers”. I know, I know – SMALL BITES…but that sounds like an appetizer to me and I l-o-v-e appetizers!

    Happy Birthday to your friend and I’m glad you had a good time! …and life does taste better with Sangria!

    GREAT post…as always! Good to see you back posting!

  2. […] time for cooking and blogging.  Working two internships, going to summer school, celebrating 21st birthdays, and preparing for my sorority’s upcoming recruitment has made things a little crazy.  While […]

  3. […] even attended Swan Lake during the SUPER BOWL!), my oldest childhood friend (and polar opposite) Sara, Andrew (who entertains my food ramblings), my wonderfully crazy high school friends, and my […]

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