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Habana Cabana Dining and Latin Salas Dancing in Huntington Beach, California 


Habana Cabana, 18552 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA. Call: (714) 968-1133.
Cuisine: Cuban, full bar, salsa lessons, live music some nights. Attire is casual to business.

Habana Cabana on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach, California offers an unassuming location for sizzling cuisine, salsa dance and Latin romance.


OK, so you're driving down Beach Boulevard and you see the usual stuff...Burger King, McDonalds, In & Out Burgers, Bravo Burgers, Taco Bell, Wienerschnitzel and so forth.


Several hidden gems of Beach Boulevard aren't really so hidden. They just get lost amongst the urban noise. But once wandering inside and arriving at the right time, your evening takes on a whole new twist--like limes in your mojito cocktail.


Habana Cabana has been around for a handful of years, serving paellas, fish and Cuban cuisine. Some believe Habana Cabana has some of the best Cuban food in the region. Well to be honest, there aren't many Cuban restaurants around, so such honors are earned in a field of small entries. I've dined in and ordered take-out for catering in a Spanish themed party.


Dining in is the better choice, because part of the experience here is the atmosphere. It's a little intimate cafe that has had many reincarnations but this life seems to be lived longer and better than others. Free salsa lessons on Thursdays and Sundays bring in a crowd who want to dance, and drink, perhaps.

Paella Valenciana is large, and filled with all the goodies you expect. Saffron and garlic, lobster clams, shrimp, Spanish chorizo, ham and chicken on a bed of rice, provide a hefty meal for two. I have had paella in a variety of restaurants both in and out of the U.S. and it simply isn't spicy enough for my liking. However, this local dish has provided the perfect pot luck party dish to take to themed events, allowing me to not cook. The presentation is large, and the flavors are mellow, providing the best possible compromise for all levels of tastes.

Appetizers, meat dishes, seafoods and even some salads are all served suitably fine. Plus, they offer a full bar and the signature mojito, a traditional Cuban drink with rum, mint leaves, club soda and sugar. It's the perfect cocktail to loosen you up before you take your salsa lesson or join the club. The stage is at the far end of the main dining room where salsa lessons start around 8:30 p.m. Dancing begins around 9:15.

Habana Cabana is but one of thousands (yes thousands) of food options in California. Get out and explore the variety of offerings. You'll be amazed.



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