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Jun 19, 2007 03:37 PM


I was in the mood for some Cuban food and Xiomara came into mind. We arrived at 6:30 with no waiting, which was great. But everything went downhill after that. I asked for two Mojito’s and two ICED WATERS. Our server was slightly pushy and wanted us to order bottled water, “Are you sure you don’t want bottled water?” If I wanted bottled I would have requested bottled. He then comes to take our order 10 minutes later, only to realize that we were never handed our menus. Not only did he neglect our menus, he also forgot to give us bread.
On to dinner…
For appetizers, we started off with a ceviche and a shredded duck ropa. Everything was extremely salty and lacked flavor. When the paella came, it was mini WTF moment. I’m not a paella expert, but intuition told me that it shouldn’t look like a mess of yellow oatmeal. In other words, the rice was soupy and the seafood on top was overly dry. How does that happen, I don’t know. For dessert I wanted to order the Tres Leches cake but they were out. So the server recommended the chocolate soufflé. Souffle, what can go wrong? It was too soggy and did not have any texture to it at all. I was pretty dissapointed because I've heard a few good reviews about the place. Oh well...

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  1. New Xiomara, meaning the Pasadena location? It was sold recently, and the new owner will be creating a new name and menu within a couple of months, yet has the option to use the Xiomara name for that period of time. Afterward, a new name.
    If you mean the Melrose location, well.... but I cannot imagine service that bad when Xiomara herself is theoretically running only one restaurant as of now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Yes, Xiomara herself runs a tight ship.

      1. Are the mojitos still the same?

        1. I'm pretty surprised at the review. Because, I guess, I eat at Xiomara - Melrose - at least once a week, for lunch, and have never encountered the problems that have been voiced.
          I've found the service to be smart and willing to please and not because they see my face frequently. BTW - The restaurant participates in the KCRW "fringe benefits" program which supports our local public radio.
          I always order the cerviche and have never felt it lacked for flavor or was too salty. I've
          worked my way through the menu and haven't left feeling that it was a bad experience or that it was money not well spent (I've got a few of those on my list!)
          Try it again? - and maybe chat Xiomara and let her know your thoughts. She's cool.

          1. SOrry for the lack of info. Its the Pasadena location, not the melrose one. I don't have any idea of who owns which and what is new. All I know is the menus changed and nothing tasted good except for the first round of bread.. As for the second round, I couldnt even tell if it was the same type. It was that inconsistent

            1. I been there twice since in the last month and had a great time. So much so that my fiance and I are planning to hold our rehersal dinner there. Perhaps they read your review or or just got the hang of things.
              I went in late June and was worried after reading your review. But to my surprise, the food and service were actually better than what I experienced under the Xiomara managment. It is a bit more casual then I remember it being, which is actually a plus for me. The duck ropa vieja was delicious along with the mojitos and the scene was lively.The dishes were inventive a tasty especially for the price. I still don't love the bartender's persona, she comes off a little pushy and loud, but otherwise we had a good time.
              The new owner Carmen, is trying really hard and tries to greet everyone. My only concern is that they plan to keep the place open during renovations which I think will hurt the ambience and possibly the food.