An unplanned trip to Palm Springs this week meant that I got a chance to revisit Zini Cafe Med for their delectable tapas (see my previous post here).

Since the temperature was about 108 Farenheit, I wanted something cool, so I decided to order the chilled baby octopus salad, with cherry tomato, cucumber, red onion, and a mustard vinaigrette ($5) instead of the hot octopus I had last time. I liked this version nearly as much as the hot version except I would have ordered the salad dressing on the side since the strong mustard vinaigrette was a bit strong on the tender organic greens.

The spicy lime drizzled shrimp were my favorite of all the tapas I tasted. For $6, the four medium sized shrimp were perfectly cooked and the garlic infused spicy lime sauce was good enough to drink; thankfully there was yeasty and warm sourdough bread to soak up the sauce.

If I go back for a meal twice in the same day (as I did for La Petite Creperie in June), you know I love a place, and I did that here. For my second round of food I started with one of the same plates I chose last time, the Tuna Carpaccio, served with Citrus, Balsamic Pomegranate Drizzle, Spanish Olive Oil & Caper. The $6 plate was every bit as delightful as the one I ate last year.

The grilled calamari stuffed with Spanish chorizo, fried parsley and capers was a bit rich and salty, but a very hearty bite for $6. This was my least favorite of all the tapas I tasted, but even so, it was still good enough to recommend to people who like rich, salty sausage bites.

I don’t know if I was really hungry or simply intrigued when I ordered the grilled artichoke, asparagus, fried egg egg, Serrano ham, and Machego cheese plate for $6. It was like a mini-breakfast and my idea of comfort food. The perfectly fried egg was done to perfection with enough runny yolk, yet no runny white, the Serrano and asparagus were great complimentary flavors, and the artichoke and cheese were nice highlights.

Finding places that are still wonderful a year later makes my stomach and face smile with delight. To add yet another surprise, wines average only $6 for a good selection of red, white, rose or bubbly, by the glass, and their happy hours, which begin at 4pm and go until 7pm most nights, offer specials like a pitcher of Sangria with a platter of snacks for only $21. It may be 108 outside, but it’s cool inside Zini.

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