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Best Cuban food in LA?

I absolutely love Cuban food, and it's sad I have not found a good Cuban place in LA. There seems to be good Cuban food in other cities,but I find LA to be the exception. Any suggestions? I have tried them all...Havana Cafe, El floridita,a couple of them in Pasadena..Versailles. It seems that they focus in the amount of food and not the flavor..Any advice?

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  1. El Rincon Criollo in Culver City on Sepulveda

    1. El Criollo on Victory and Fulton in Van Nuys.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Yes. I love this place. The couple who run it are so friendly, and the food is very good. I like the fricasee (chicken or fish).

      2. There was a long thread about Cuban food in LA a month or two ago.

        I think El Cochinito on Sunset in Los Feliz is very good and I hear its the most authentic from some Cubans. I had the cuban style pork and it was VERY good. I recommend it.

        FYI, I think its more of a lunch place because I don't think they are open too late for dinner.

        1. El Colmao on pico is good and I'd go along with Rincon Criollo.

          1. If Ropa Vieja is something your palette craves, I suggest Havana Mania in Manhattan Beach (borderline Lawndale). It's on the corner of Marine and Inglewood. They roast a whole pig on Tuesdays I believe adn also have live entertainment on Mondays and weekends. Oh and the mojitos are pretty darned good too!

            1. What about Guantanamera in Burbank? I think their food is pretty good.....and they also have live music on the weekends.....but it can get a bit loud given the close proximity of the musicians to the diners.

              1. Check this out, take your pick! That simple.

                If you don't mind the drive to Manhattan Beach, may I suggest Havana Mania, Guantanmera In Burbank or El Cochinito in Silverlake.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Ollie

                    sorry, but any list that has j.lo's restaurant #1 is clearly suspect IMO. but i do agree about el cochinito - it's my fave.

                  2. La Cubana in Glendale. Excellent lechon.

                    1. i recommend either El Cochinito - which is more a hole in the wall, or El Colmao, still open after 40+ years, which is where i had lunch today. you do not want to be in that neighborhood after dark though - most of the side streets are blockaded off due to the drug dealing that goes on around there.

                      i tend to give weight to the percentage of ex-pats/immigrants that patronize an ethnic restaurant. they're not all necessarily cuban (especially el colmao, which tends to draw on the central american neighborhood), but i am usually the only non-fluent spanish speaking person in either place.