Cuban Happy Hour: Habana

I was going to meet my dad at a restaurant for OC Restaurant Week, but we never specified what time we were going to meet. So by the time I got to Irvine Spectrum I got a call from him and that’s when we decided for a 5 pm time. That left me with a solid 45 minutes to keep occupied, but I had the perfect solution to kill time. Happy Hour!


The dining area


Sign hiding in the foliage


What is the gorgeous restaurant you see before you? What is the sign hiding within this tropical foliage? Well, it is Habana, the Cuban restaurant! This was actually my first time at the Irvine location. I’ve been to the Costa Mesa one a couple of times, but it does not compare to this one whatsoever.


The bar


The restaurant is gorgeous! I mean if being here does not inspire one to want to go to Cuba then I don’t know what else would. I love the open feeling of the entire restaurant with windows throughout bringing in the natural sunlight. Although on this particular day it was raining, so not too much sunlight. Which brings me to this point, technically Social Hour is served at the Rum Bar outside. However, since it was raining they brought it inside, which means I guess I’ll just have to come again to experience the rum bar.


Beautiful Archways


The most iconic part of this restaurant is the grand chandelier hanging above. It truly draws one’s eyes towards it as you enter the enormous room. The beautiful archways along with the tropical plants just transport you to Havana, Cuba. 


Social Hour Time


Happy Hour Drinks


Happy Hour Food


As you can see everything ranges from $4-$7, which really isn’t bad at all! The time is also 4-7, plus it’s daily which is amazing! One can keep it under $10 if for one food item and one drink item if they went for the lower-priced items. Here on our Adventures, we go for what catches our eyes and what is most unique! One thing to note is that the food items can only be found on the Habana 47 menu and not inside the restaurant. Which I think is very cool to keep it as an exclusive thing. Go forth Adventurers and give it a try!


Santiago de Cuba Daquiri


I went ahead and ordered the Santiago de Cuba Daquiri. Moe, the bartender, was asking if I would like it served straight up or on the rocks. I went ahead and did it straight up since that is the way it is meant to be served. This daiquiri had Havana Club Blanco Rum, Flor de Caña 7 yr Rum, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and finally agave.


Arial view of the Daquiri


I do have to say this was one delicious cocktail. It was, so refreshing, and you know me being the rum drinker I am. This was the perfect combination of flavors all coming together cohesively. The fresh fruit juices coming through really pushed the tropical notes of the drink. Something I found interesting is the use of agave in the drink since that is typically something one would find in tequila-based drinks.


Variety of chips with sauces


We have a free item alert! Don’t you just love bar snacks with your Happy Hour deals? I especially love it when it’s something more unique than one is used to seeing. So I’m sure you can see those delicious chips peeking out of the bag? It’s not just one type of chip, there’s actually FOUR! There is a mixture of potato, sweet potato, plantain, and yucca chips! All of them were very tasty with the perfect amount of salt and crunch with every bite. Not only were there chips but to your right, there are three colorful sauces! From the bottom up we have a black bean sauce with chili, then there is a red pepper cream sauce, and finally a nice chimichurri. Each one was very flavorful, but if I could only have one it would have to be the red pepper cream sauce. It was a good mix of spice and creaminess, which played well off of each other. The chimichurri was a nice herby sauce, definitely the least spicy. Then the black bean sauce wasn’t my favorite, but still good!


Tostones with fundido in the distance


A good bar snack is always a nice start, but it has nothing on the appetizer. Crispy goat cheese fundido served with a side tostones. Tostones are smashed plantains then fried and seasoned. They still had a little bit of the soft plantain inside of the patty, which added a good mixture of textures. The fundido was out of this world! The roasted tomato sauce surrounding the center goat cheese was an explosion of flavors. I love the fact that it comes out on a wooden plank and the fundido is served in a nice cast iron skillet.


Crispy Goat Cheese Fundido


Honestly just writing about it right now is making my mouth water. Luckily for me, I have leftovers! My one complaint is I don’t think the tostones make the best serving vessel to scoop up this delicious sauce. Luckily if you save some of your free chips then this would be extremely helpful.


White and Red Sangria Samples


Earlier I mentioned Moe, so he was the individual I talked to the most. Originally he was moving all over the place and running back and forth with stuff, so I didn’t get a chance to truly talk to him till the end. He actually has two jobs, one working in the family business of insurance and the other one working as a bartender at Habana. He was actually a bartender in the past but then took a break to help with the business. One day he came to Habana and ran into his old manager from his last bartender gig. He showed Moe around and then offered Moe a job and the rest is history. He was also kind enough to give me some samples of the house-made sangria they serve. His favorite is the white sangria, which after tasting both I have to agree with him. It was filled with peach flavor, which he said came from the peach schnapps.
This has probably been one of my all-time favorite Happy Hours that I have been to. Just everything from the ambiance to the food itself. It was great that I was able to fit this in before meeting with my dad and will definitely be returning again.
Website: Habana
I have always wanted to visit Cuba. For now, I think Habana will have to do. Have you ever tried Cuban food? Do you want to travel to Cuba one day? Let me know below.
If you enjoyed, be sure to share the link with your friends and family.
May the adventures continue! Cheers!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

0 Responses

  1. Once Trump opens up travel to Cuba again (or I should say ANY travel right now during our shutdown due to COVID-19), I would LOVE to go to Cuba! Although, I guess you can get there from Mexico at this point. I can remember enjoying some Cuban food at Bongos, Gloria Estefan's restaurant when I went to DisneyWorld. Not as spicy as I like my food, but still delicious. Sigh…hoping to get to Cuba someday!

    When I hit SoCal, though, I'll definitely be hitting Habana!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related Posts