Wife and I ate at Malaga in Trenton on Sunday and came away frustrated and disappointed once again. This is the top rated Spanish restaurant in NJ in Zagat so we didn't think we could go wrong.
The appetizer of 6 small Empanadas was pretty good. Homemade dough deep fried and tasty, the filling of (much) onion and (little) chicken was different from the usual though. Entrees of Paella and Mariscada were so-so at best. Once again (see comments re: Mallorca) the seafood was not fresh tasting and was overdone and somewhat tough. It was definitely missing that homey flavor and freshness that one MUST have in this type (or any for that matter) of cuisine. Once again (see comments re: Mallorca) I could not get a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and I trusted (never again) the waiters recommendation of a Spanish white which was so-so at best.
Desserts were so-so and mostly not homemade (actually they were imported Italian desserts from a company called Bindi). The homemade Flan was OK. While the prices were much lower than Mallorca (avg. $17), the food was about of equal quality. What must one do to find good Spanish food? Go to NYC? Spain?
So for you lovers of Latino food, here's our score card (for what it's worth) so far: an enthusiastic yes to Tierra Colombiana (the best), Azafran, and Alma de Cuba (though very expensive and actually not terribly Cuban), a yes to Cibucan, and thumbs down for Cafe Habana, Mallorca and Malaga. We have heard (very) mixed reviews about Cuba Libre and don't know if we want to risk more Iberian heartbreak. We may next venture into North Philly to try some of the Puerto Rican or Portuguese restuarants as well as return to Tierra Colombiana (yum). Addios y buenas comidas!