Thursday, January 14, 2016

Joya Restaurant & Lounge - Palo Alto

2/5 stars

Teeter-tottered between 2-3 stars... how about a 2.9?

Truth is, Cascal's is way better than this place. First off, the cocktails were either too sweet or quite plain. The too sweet included the Joya Hibiscus Paloma (milagro silver tequila, hibiscus syrup, grapefruit, aperol, fresh lime) and the Sparkling Pear-rection (grey goose pear vodka, st. germain, rosemary, sparkling rose cava). The paloma was heavy on the hibiscus and there should've been more grapefruit. It was a paloma after all. And the white peach sangria was bland.

Overall, the food was pretty good, but, again, I prefer Cascal's tapas. The paella came with an impressive bunch of seafood, but lacked Cascal's tastiness. I wouldn't order the burgers again, but I'd vouch for the scallops (butternut squash-goat cheese purée, grilled corn, dino kale, pioppini mushrooms, garlic-parsley lemon butter) and the papas bravas (pimenton, garlic aïoli).

The pros: nice place to lounge. It's a lot more spacious than Cascal's. And the service was good. And fried Oreos. Because. Fried Oreos. (I liked them better than the churros. They were light and fluffy, but needed more cinnamon sugar. Disneyland's churros are the best.)

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