Cascal (Mountain View, CA)

Cascal (Mountain View, CA) – I headed here one day after work with a few of my co-workers – it was one of our former co-worker’s birthday and we thought it would be great to celebrate over Happy Hour priced tapas! I realized when I got here that I’ve actually been here (…like 7 years ago?) for my own birthday! I knew I had tapas for the first time on Castro Street but I could never remember where it was – that is, until now.

The interior is really airy and open and colorful – it makes me think of a Spanish villa! We sat inside at the bar because that’s where you get all the Happy Hour deals. I believe you can also order at the bar and bring it over to a table if you want. It wasn’t too bad since we got there early and there were about 5 of us.

First, we kept it simple – we ordered two sets of tacos as well as chips and dip. We ordered both the Beef Short Rib Tacos (braised short ribs, spices, and chilies in a soft tortilla) as well as Fish Tacos (seasoned fresh white fish, chilies, guacamole, and cream in a soft tortilla). These were really flavorful! Since we love doing things family style, we also got the Chips and Dips, which came with a black bean dip, queso fundido, and fresh guacamole. We totally killed that by the end.

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One tapa that was a hit was the Patatas Bravas, and how could it not? It’s potatoes! Patatas Bravas is crispy fried potatoes over salsa brava and topped with garlic aioli. We ordered a couple of these, and I definitely didn’t mind finishing it up for everyone else when they started to get full!

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My favorite was the Albondigas though. The Happy Hour version consists of Moroccan lamb meatballs on a bed of hummus. I don’t think my friends enjoyed it as much, but I’ve come to realize I really enjoy lamb. It’s so meaty but not gamey. And of course since these had Moroccan spices, it was very much in my wheelhouse of flavors! They were just so moist and full of flavor. I loved it so much that I’ve ordered the full price tapa when we went another time after as well. Only this one is smothered in a almond tomato saffron sauce, which is EVEN BETTER. I would just come back for these meatballs honestly.

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And last but not least, we got a little dulce de leche cake from the restaurant since it was my friend’s birthday! And we all sang Happy Birthday which was cute. This cake was really good too – I’ve also had their flan and it’s pretty delicious!

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Overall, a great experience at Cascal! Happy Hour apps are $5-7 each which is pretty awesome and the drinks are discounted as well. I will say that full price items are a bit pricey – but it IS tapas, after all. The meatballs are $14 when full price, but it also has more pricey ingredients like saffron (whether it’s legit saffron though, I do not know). But anyway, having been here a few times, I’ve had a great experience on each occasion and get to eat a lot of awesome food!

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