Our taste buds are taking a much-needed trip to the island of Cuba by way of Habana and its tantalizing creations, like the sopa de fideo (noodle soup). It was inspired by one of the soups chef Alex Moreno’s mother used to cook when he was growing up. What makes it interesting, he says, are the noodles: “We blanch, then dehydrate [them], then fry them to create this unique crispy noodle to pair with the beautiful smoky tomato broth,” he says. The result? A texturally layered amalgamation of flavors that’s further heightened when the bowl of goodness is paired with a signature mojito. And do not miss the fare exclusive to Irvine, either: the tropical avocado salad and the rum-braised short rib. “We aim to break the mold with our menu,” adds Moreno. “Whether you come for our famous paella or the Key lime pie, we hope that you’ll leave already planning your next visit.” How could we not?