So I drive by Paladar every day and have always wondered about it. Now there is Kung Pao Kitty and that also piques the interest. I went to both this week.
Tuesday was Paladar. The space is nice - lots of sub-rooms with ironwork and comfy seating. The menu is Cuban with some interesting cal-updates to provide something healthy - crabcakes, salads & such. The service absolutely sucked. Our server was a cold fish from the second she appeared. We knew it was futile to ask her questions but did so anyway. Nothing pisses me off more than a waitron with no opinion who gives the "everything on the menu is great" response. Good, fresh bread came with a weird but pretty addictive curry butter.
The food took way too long to come. It was probably 40 minutes after ordering, and the place was nowhere near full. We were pretty annoyed by the time the food came, and it was actually rather good. Friend had the roast chicken with rice & beans. It was a giant portion of chicken that was perfectly cooked - tangy & garlicky but not overly so. The beans were a bit soupy and smoky. I had the ropa vieja torta which had spicy mashed potatoes on the sandwich and came with a tasty tomato and avocado salad. The bread was legit and fresh and delicious. I could only eat half. I would try this place again at night. Maybe a mojito would make the service and scene more bearable. I want that roast chicken for myself sometime.
Thursday. I was sure Kung Pao Kitty was going to be my new favorite joint. The place looks great - high ceilings, mah jong boards on the walls, dark woods & reds. The menu warned that they are still in opening phase and they are getting it together. We ordered steamed shrimp dumplings and got fried ones. Probably should have sent them back, but I was in a hurry. They tasted like they had been frozen and came with a hoisin sauce that didn't work. The signature Kung Pao Chicken was the best thing we had and just ok. The ingredients were very fresh, but the flavors somehow did not mesh. Chicken and peanuts were a bit scarce and were made up with excessive amounts of bell pepper and onion. We also had a Pad Se Ew (sp?) kind of thing with vegetables that was not very well done. Noodles were not completely cooked and stuck together. I should have stayed away from this dish as soon as I saw that it featured baby corn. I probably should have complained about all of this stuff, but I was in a hurry and just needed to get going. I may call today.
I'm sure KP Kitty will be better in the future, but at the moment you are better off at Chin Chin.
Both lunches were about $35 for two with 2 iced teas.