To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(TV Diner) - Fairly new to Kendall Square in Cambridge, Kika Tapas exudes passion with its bold color palette of red, black and white executed in sophisticated patterns. Zebra wood floors, stylish lighting, cozy booths and banquettes add to this feast for the eyes, but does the Spanish fare compare to the appealing atmosphere?
We started out with a couple pintxos or finger foods.
Crostini piled with cold artichokes, mushrooms and goat cheese was substantial in portion but offered little in flavor.
But our taste buds were adequately tickled by a pair of sweet potato and corn croquettes. The deep-fried rounds were crunchy, creamy and perfectly spiced.
We decided on several tapas or small plates, beginning with broccoli and cauliflower fritters. Alas, the nuggets were quite doughy and there was little evidence of the promised vegetables.
The sautéed spinach with pine nuts and raisins, however, was an amazing co-mingling of sweet and savory. Excellent!
Also thoroughly enjoyed were the boneless garlic glazed chicken thighs. Tender and delectable best describes this small plate.
But we had a beef with the beef tenderloin, as it was more like flank steak in texture and appearance. The only saving grace was a remarkable herb sauce slathered over the thin cuts.
Desserts were another mixed bag at Kika Tapas.
A sautéed banana with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream was mediocre at best. The fruit was grainy and tasteless and the sauce thin.
But an enormous serving of churros with dark chocolate ganache ended things on a sweet note. A crisp exterior and smooth interior perfectly balanced the cinnamon-laced pastries.
Although there were few other diners the early evening we visited, service was a bit lackadaisical. While friendly enough, our waiter seemed disengaged - we even had to catch his eye to order a second glass of wine!
The price can add up quickly at Kika Tapas with small starters about $5, charcuterie plates $10 to $16; tapas plates $7 to $10; large plates averaging $27; and desserts around $8.
With time Kika Tapas could achieve stardom, but based on our experience, for now it will receive a Silver Plate.
Open daily, Kika Tapas is located in the Watermark Building in Cambridge at 350 Third Street. Call 617-245-6030 or visit www.kikatapas.com.