Food & Drink

Conga Bar and Restaurant

They say if at first you don't succeed, try, try again -- but you can't always take real world advice from a Successories poster. Unless you're Conga, opening tomorrow at 6pm

Having scrapped their original Shabu Square joint after nary a year, the people behind SS are back again (in the same space) with Conga, a lunch/dinner cantina featuring a "scrumptious Latin experience" through combination raw bar, eclectic tapas, and traditional South American entrees in a 90-seat space equipped with conga (!!) drums, autographed guitars, cymbals, and framed pics of famous Latin performers like Celia Cruz and Molotov -- they're just daring you to throw something on stage. Do it! The menu of 20+ small plates include Saltenas (two baked empanadas packed w/ a stewy broth of chicken and peas), Albondigas de Salmon (salmon balls doused in caper sauce), pan grilled shrimp Cambas a la Plancha; and pork sausage mixed w/ figs known as Butifarras con Brevas -- named for infamous Peruvian philanderer, Joey Butifarras. For portions w/ more machismo, CBR serves up a classic Spanish chicken and sausage paella; Mofongo con Camarones (sauce-smothered fried mashed plantains cooked w/ spices and prawns); and a grilled Argentine skirt steak, which would look a lot better in long pants, but no one had the heart to tell it

For those inclined to play it safe there are more-recognizable eats like a classic burger, BBQ spareribs, and a traditional Cuban sandwich, as well as a select list of wines (Yalumba Shiraz, Munoz Tempranillo) and 18 draught/bottled beers (Alhambra, Estralla Damm, and Negra Modelo) to complement the grub, because -- like the poster says -- if at first you don't get sauced, there're like 17 other beers.