Tummies grumbling and ready for the weekend, we headed out for a mini mid-week celebration at Candela.
Tucked in the Mission district and easily accessible from 4th street, we had heard rants and raves (all good) and thought it was time to go check it out for ourselves.
And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
Walking into the space, the 60s-vibe flooring really catches your attention, paired perfectly with comfy red couches and fabric-covered benches. It’s the kind of spot where immediately you can’t wait to sit down and relax.
We started the night off with a few drinks while we made our way through the menu. Tapas style, there’s a lot of smaller plates for sharing and a few larger-sized portions in case you “want to seriously hoard and defend your meal” as our server so eloquently put it.
We dove right in and selected three plates for sharing – two meats and a veggie. That being said, it was a pretty hard choice to forgo the gnocchi and vegetable tempura.
After a few sips and good conversation, our dishes rolled out.
First, we were greeted with sweet, honey covered, tender beets and carrots. Paired with a spring lettuce mix coated in a light balsamic vinaigrette and warm, crunchy walnuts.
The deep colours of orange and purple were enough to warm anyone up on a cold winter’s day.
Feverishly, we loaded veggie after veggie onto our plates, leaving not a single morsel behind.
Next came my choice, salmon in a subtle, green chimichurri sauce, plated on a bed of soft, cauliflower puree. Cooked to perfection, the salmon was a perfect rose colour and flaked apart with the slightest touch of a fork.
The tender meat was paired nicely with a few crunchy house-made chips, sprinkled with a chilli seasoning. Perfect for scooping up any remaining puree. Seriously addictive – I’m still thinking about them this morning. That being said, it might just be because I gave up chips for Lent. So.hard.
Our final plate was the most tender beef short rib, slathered in a spicy mole sauce, paired with carrots and a pumpkin puree. Seriously delicious.
We devoured dish after dish, and by the time our three plates were finished, we couldn’t help but crave more. Luckily, the dessert menu came just in time.
With choices like a walnut brownie, salted caramel and maple mascarpone drenched roasted apples, mini donuts, and a candied serrano ham brulee, it was no doubt that we were ordering more than one.
The walnut brownie was utterly luxurious. Warm chocolate with the perfect amount of crunchy toasted walnuts, all drizzled with a sour cherry sauce. Paired of course, with a decent scoop of creamy vanilla gelato.
And the mini donuts? No brainer. They seriously didn’t skimp on the number of glorious little dough-balls, coated in a sweet cinnamon sugar. And in case you have a major sweet tooth, they come with a pot of dulce de leche for dipping.
Needless to say, between the company and the food, it was the perfect date night. Dinner club watch out, I think I know my next pick….
^ The perfect spot to relax for an impending food coma