WE'VE heard about it for some time now, but we just haven't bolted in for a long time, trying out a paella place just doesn't seem right when just a few are present.

That was until last Wednesday, when I finally caught Trisha while she's in Davao, and Deng, and Imee. That number is good enough to try as many.

The place is Paella Project. It's on that building at the corner of Mabini and F. Torres Streets, the old Tiny Kitchen space, the same building where there's a pet grooming salon.

Trish and Deng were still caught in traffic so we went ahead and ordered all three paellas (Valenciana, Negra, and Mariscos). Imee wanted more, the tapas, she said and pointed at the top three on the list. Those are Callos, Salpicao, and Gambas. We topped that with a bottle of red wine. Among the paellas, it's the Valenciana that impressed us all.

Project Paella boasts of giving you the quickest Paella fix. That only means, there are compromises on the taste. It's fastfood paella, meaning, the rice is already boiled and the ingredients are added on a skillet over a fire stove. Meaning, the flavors weren't allowed to simmer in the normal slow-cook paella way.

Still, since they did not scrimp on the ingredients, then it will do as a quick fix to a paella craving. The tapas are good.

The Gambas has the toasted garlic and the oil that you can spread over your paella for added flavor. The Callos is okay. The Salpicao is superb and has enough garlic and sauce to satisfy the palate. And for P200, that was a steal.

Our dessert was their churros, and they're good. There's a downside to Paella Project. It's tiny. And thus, you might have to wait for a while.

We managed to grab the last table for two and already told the waitress that we will be occupying the table for four occupied by a couple who were already done with their dinner. But you can drop by at odd hours. It's open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

We can't help but wonder where the waitress regularly disappears into. I mean, it's a tiny place, you'd see every person from the innermost corner to the corner nearest the door. But the waitress still manages to disappear... Still, Paella Project is definitely worth a visit. Just expect to wait for a table if you're coming at regular meal hours.