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Mar 13, 2007 12:15 AM

The Sandwich Cubano (RIP Encino Cha Cha Cha)

First of all, let me say I just found this site and am quite excited to join the community of food fans in LA. That said, I wish to lament the loss of the greatest sandwich I've ever eaten, and ask if anyone knows of any place that has something remotely similar.

First of all, if anyone browsing has had this sandwich, you likely know why I am so enthusiastic. Many also might assume this sandwich would be available at the one of the other Cha Cha Cha restaurants. Sadly, this is not the case. Furthermore the other other locations claim to have had no connection to the one that closed. This fact was made clear to me by a voice full of spite. Not sure what the back story is there.

I'm not sure anyone who hasn't had the sandwich can really help, since listing the ingredients do it no sort of justice:

Spiced and marinated chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, gorganzolla (maybe, if I remember right, but maybe not, very mild) with a little mayo (undetectable really) mixed up and put in a fresh Cuban roll. The whole sandwich then cooks with a brick on top. This definitely does not do the sandwich justice. The first time I tasted it I had to fight back tears. No sandwich has satisfied me since.

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    1. Porto's in Glendale has Cuban sandwiches. They may have what you are looking for.
      I recently had a grilled veggie sandwich there called the Glendale Veggie that I really enjoyed. Here are two options directly from their menu that you may like:

      --Grilled Chicken Sandwich- marinated chicken breast, provolone cheese, Dijon mustard, lettuce, and tomatoes
      --Torta de Pollo- grilled chicken breast, black beans spread, goat cheese, red onion, lettuce, and tomatoes, on French

      Maybe you could get them to add grilled onions and peppers to one of the above, by special request.

      Also, this is a recent thread on other places that serve Cuban food:

      I hope you find what you are looking for. :)

      1. Thanks guys. I'll have to check out Porto's soon.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dzynz

          I believe Porto's has a Burbank location as well, but be ready for crowds. Their bakery is well known for cakes and pastries, and navigating the lines can be a bit crazy. I love the Cuban sandwich there, but I haven't tried either of the chicken sandwiches.

          I recommend adding a few potato balls (hot, soft and tasty) or a meat pie (flakey goodness) or two to your meal. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

        2. Try Guantanamera in Burbank at Victory across from Costco in a small mall with a check cashing joint and a MacDonalds.

          The room is great, the sandwiches crisp and the mojitos strong and true.

          Pair with the garlic fries and then walk the whloe event off at Costco.

          1. Cha Cha Chicken, Cha Cha Cha's casual location in Santa Monica, has a Chicken Cubano on its menu. Hopefully, this sandwich will be similar to the Chicken Cubano you like.

            Cha Cha Chicken
            1906 Ocean Ave
            Santa Monica
            (310) 581-1684