It will take awhile to get to know Ca–ita: Her menu is vast, but there are discoveries to be made on the beverage page alone, like the materva, or Cuban Yerba Mate Soda.

But you will feel like a native the moment you bite into your first platos of black beans and rice, empanadas or croquetas. Questions are answered by a friendly staff eager to explain all the dishes, which range from Iberian-Creole classics such as salt cod in a salsa to humble Cuban standards such as the pork sandwich.

The Plato Comunista is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the nation of Cuba. It's a light meal served on a large colorful plate. The black beans are served in a mug, and there is an earthy jumble of rice, yuca (a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato) and a salad.

And you can't go wrong with the workingman's Cuban sandwich. The roast pork is tender and juicy and perfectly combines with the smoked ham, Swiss cheese and roll.

Ca–ita's happy hour, la hora del amigo, is held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and Latin jazz is performed Friday and Saturday nights. Ca–ita rolls out a late-night menu at 11 p.m. daily that is served until 2:30 a.m.

Ñ Michaela Bancud

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