I love paella. Whoever it was that thought to harvest crocus pollen for flavor was a genius.

Last night after arriving in Sunnyvale CA for a training class, I started Googling for tapas places nearby. I had been looking forward to going to a restaurant in San Francisco, but driving an hour for dinner, when the folks I had originally planned to eat with were at work, wasn’t worth it to me.

I found one close-by in Mountain View. Cascal is located at 400 Castro St. They have extensive outdoor seating, as well as dozens of tables indoors.

One of my co-workers and I headed over to Cascal at about 8:15p, and when we sat down and perused the menu, I had the enjoyable, but somewhat unusual, task of getting to explain large chunks of the menu (thanks to both a food & culture class, and a Spanish culture class I took at Elon). We both ordered paella, which is roughly a Spanish saffron rice casserole. I ordered the Paella Rustica, which had chicken and rabbit, and he ordered the Paella Cascal, the house special which included sausage, and interesting vegetables. Our meals were about $25 each.

The small size orders, which we had, came out in pans about 10″ across. I was afraid to ask how big the “large” orders were, but they were about twice the cost. They must be meals for two or three. As it was, I wasn’t even able to make it through the whole small order, and I can pack food away.

Our waiter was attentive enough to make sure we had everything we needed, but didn’t hover. Overall, it was a pleasant meal with quick service, and I would recommend Cascal to anyone visiting or living in Silicon Valley.