Dessert of the Week: Empanadas at Habana

With its hundreds of candles dark wood and wrought-iron everything, HabanaCosta Mesa's go-to spot for Cuban fare–backs up its colonial atmosphere with tasty food. For this week's Dessert of the Week, we decided pass on the white sangria and delicious tapas, and instead, head straight for the dessert menu, where we found empanadas made in-house that taste as good as they look.

Four small, yet satisfying, empanadas line the plate as well as half of a coconut topped with homemade whipped cream. Although the coconut is a bit out of place, it serves as a holder for the whipped cream and jibes with Habana's mission to create visual appeal for every dish. The restaurant pairs two sweet cream-filled empanadas with two pumpkin empanadas, and it's hard to choose a favorite. The dough is fried to flaky, golden perfection and both fillings have a smooth consistency with a sweet kick.

Pretty much every Latin American culture has its own variant on the empanada; Habana's Cuba-inspired dessert take on the stuffed pastry is sure to please any foodie. Begin your meal by sampling the small plates menu with a few friends and finish it off with the empanadas, also conveniently designed for sharing.

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