Nice Place full of Fun and Flavorfull Eats. We love this neighborhood place. Mission District is a bit questionable; but once you've found a location for the car...you walk into a hoppin' place, tasty dishes, full of flavor and excitement. Great Happy Hour bites-$2 Sangria...$3 Beers. Favorites...The Pork Sandwiches, the Cerviche, The Cuban Meatballs, the Plantanes, the fish tacos. We have gone with friends, our sone and his girlfriend and all were blown away by the unique plates of tasty morsles. A must! A favorite!
We went there (7 costarrican friends) because "we finally found a Costarrican place in the Bay Area".
What we agreed we found:
The worst service and unfrendly staff ever.
The tiniest (chiquiticos) dishes ever.
The high pices for the quality.
The atmosphere wasn't that bad and the food was regular, but this is not authentic costarrican food, this is mostly a undefined mix of latin ingredients. Is she a true chef?
What a shame, we will never come back, nor recommend it to anyone (costarrican or not).
Not Bad. This place is not too bad. The wait staff were friendly but service is slow. The food is okay could be be more flavorful. Be prepared to wait however as seating is limited and reservations are not accepted. May consider returning if I am in the area.
Don't waste your time. Literally, that is what you will do at this place. First of all, I saw the review on Check Please! and it had really touted a great review for them. I was really pumped up to visit the place since it seemed to be a hole in the wall restaurant in the mission that gave good cuban cuisine. We went on a Friday, when things are expected to be busy and although they were, they were not over the top busy and yet we were managed to be completely ignored. There was no dedicated server to our table so the accountability was not there. I ordered my drink and waited for about 20 minutes only to find out that the waitress had forgotten to place my drink order. After that things went down hill. The food was average nothing too extraordinary. The presentation of the food was very nice, but the flavors of the food were pretty bland. Then I had the courage to ask for dessert. I asked the same waitress which had forgotten my drink and she ordered it. Well, it must've taken about 20 additional minutes just to get the dessert. I had to ask a passing waiter, that wasn't even serving our table to please bring me my dessert...only after seeing and hearing my frustration did they act quickly and got me my dessert in less than 5 minutes...imagine that!! so all in all, the entire visit there was about 2 hours. Our servers didn't even bother to ask if we needed anything...only maybe a once half-hearted attempt by a neighboring waitress. Anyways, that is my take on this place. If you have a full 2 to 3 hours to spare on a mediocre meal and don't mind being ignored the whole time, then this is your place...after leaving this place we hopped on over to Cha Cha Cha, which is only 2 businesses down the way and we had a great time. Much better service and they really had a full house! We only wished it was Cha Cha Cha that we had visited earlier.
Great Tapas in an Unassuming Package. I love tapas, and Charanga's gets very high marks from me. The yuca frita are the best I've had in the city, and the sauteed shrimp and calamari with chiles and coconut rice is one of the single most satisfying and flavorful entrees I've ever had. You might walk right by this place if you're browsing on Mission St., but it's well worth a stop inside. The service is very friendly, the music is festive, the ambience is hip yet low key, and the food is really fresh and delicately layered with flavor and so incredibly delicious and satisfying.
Inventive tapas-style Cuban-Caribbean cuisine draws a stylish crowd to this small Mission restaurant..
Charanga's 15 tables fill up almost every night with Mission denizes of all ages, sharing inventive tapas-style plates. The high ceiling, narrow room and exposed-brick walls can make things noisy.
An affordable menu takes cues from Caribbean and Cuban cuisine. Delicate seared ahi tuna contrasts beautifully with its accompanying crunchy plantain chips, marinated jicama and chipotle aioli. More traditional dishes like fried yucca or new potatoes with lively hot sauce also satisfy. Larger plates include beef or chicken cooked with green olives and raisins in rice, and sauteed shrimp and calamari with hot chiles, ginger and coconut rice. Among the desserts, the Mexican chocolate almond torte is heavenly.
great food and even better service. I love this place. You have to check it out. The food is amazing the service is even better. It is extremely busy yet they still take care of you. A+
we fought over the last shrimp. It was a chilly summer Friday night and we walked into Charanga and immediately felt the warmth and wonderful aromas. I started with a ginger sake cocktail that had a sugar cane stir stick that was seductively addictive. My husband had the passionfruit cocktail - I couldn't decide what was better about it, the aromatherapy aspect or the crisp fruity combination. We exchanged sips throughout the meal. We shared two plates - 1) the sautéed shrimp and calamari - served with coconut rice used to soak up the sweet/spicy sauce. The shrimp and calamari had a grilled tasted and combined with the sweetness of the rice and sauce was phenomenal, 2) SEARED AHI small plate, served with avocado chunks. We couldn't help but dip the bread in the remaining citrus-y sauce. Delicious. Both plates were completely different flavors and washed down w/our cocktails....very nice. Hard to have a conversation, but who really wants to talk when your fighting for the last shrimp???
You can't go wrong with this one!. I was amazed by the quality of the food and service at this cozey down to earth Mission restaurant. Raciones, not Tapas, is what they specialize in. We had small plates ( but larger than tapas) of cuisine from costa rica, mexico, cuba and nicaragua, with their ambrosic citrusy sangria. Don't beleive I had dessert, but the chocolate cake is brilliant. Service was fast, and attentive despite the Friday evening crowd. So comfortable I felt like pitching in to help as they were short staffed-thankfully I didn't- the food would never have gotten to the guests.
Another tapas place!. Loved the service in this place. The food was the usual plantain, black beans, shrimps and chicken in the Caribbean flavor. The sangria was kicking. However the ambience reminded me of an old country cottage. The atmosphere was very homely and the servers were prompt!
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