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Craving Cuban Sandwich

Who has the best? There are lots of them around that are just ok, (and lots that aren't even that), but where's the one to rival the glories of what can be found almost anywhere in Miami?

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  1. HI bagdoodle,
    I will always suggest PORTO"S on Brand Blvd. in Glendale
    -also on Magnolia/Hollywood Way in Burbank.
    I've spent much much much time in Miami, and in the Keys (I was a kayak guide/instructor), and the only Cuban Sand I really loved was at David's on Lincoln road...I think it was their potato balls and cafe con leche that really won me over-oh, and the great breakfasts.
    PORTOS will always be my favorite...but remember, to each his/her own...some people prefer a different style of all kinds of things, it doesn't mean that one is realistically better than the other...everyone has a taste all their own.Let me know what you think...don't forget to get a guava cheese danish...the only place I've found a better guava/cheesee danish was at one of the last cuban stands you hit in Key Largo as you're driving south...I can never remember the name...their coffee was too bitter though and their potato balls were too greasy...good breakfast though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tatertotsrock

      david's has moved away from lincoln to somewhere on collins, fyi

    2. Thank you tatertotsrock. I'll try it next week!

      1. Portos didn't knock my socks off, but when you're in OC, try the Cuban sandwich at De Simone's on Edinger @ GoldenWest. Great Italian deli/sub shop, and I thought theirs was tastier than Portos (but don't miss those guava-cream cheese danish-like pastries at Portos - they're really good).

        1. Not a fan of Porto's version although I do like Porto's in general.

          The best I've found to date is at Café Tropical in Silverlake.
          2900 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake

          2 Replies
          1. re: vinosnob

            Tropical is really good, ask them to make the bread extra crispy and you will be in heaven, IMHO.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              I lived in Miami for over 20 years and cafe tropical blew chunks when i had it. Only place that has passable cubano is Portos in my opinion. wish there was more than that. Also I would kill for good cafe con leche....

          2. Definitely Porto's, but other places are Milk on Beverly and the Cuban sandwich place in El Segundo.

            7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

            Porto's Bakery
            315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

            Havana Sandwich Co
            229 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

            1. I wasn't that impressed with Porto's version. I did like Cafe Atlantic's version in Old Town Pasadena.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JAB

                i agree about porto's version... a bit on the bland side...

              2. We lived in Miami for four years. How I miss Versailles (especially their jamon croquetas) and walk-up cafecito stands. As for here, I love the media noches I get at La Caridad, a little hole in the wall on Temple near Alvarado. At least three-quarters of an inch of pork, ham, cheese and pickles, with the bread toasted to a deep, crusty brown in the press.

                1. it's a long, LONG shot, but there's a place on temple just west of alvarado, labeled only "CUBAN FOOD". looks like a complete hole in the wall. Anybody?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ns1

                    Please see my post immediately above yours.

                    1. re: Cubancoffee

                      wow cubancoffee, you're money and I can't read. Thanks!

                      Anything else from that little shop?

                      1. re: ns1

                        Just ate there today, it was good, for me I still like Tropical, but I will return for the Carne, Rice & Beans (Moros e Christos ?) It looked really good, the empenada was good, but already fried, had it beem fresh I would have gotten more.

                        1. re: ns1

                          They have standard Cuban fare, with 3 or 4 daily lunch specials. My wife enjoys the ropa vieja on Thursday. Good bebidas, and the platanos have always been perfectly prepared. La Cochinta on Sunset has better hot plates, IMHO, and their Cuban sandwich is actually bigger than Caridad's, but La Cochinita's ham has a more processed taste to me and I think Cardidad is more generous with the fillings. We've tried El Tropical and I would rate their sandwich behind La Caridad. Both La Caridad and La Cochinita have table service, which I prefer to standing in front of a counter to order.

                          1. re: Cubancoffee

                            woot thanks. I am within walking distance. You wouldn't by chance know WTF is that shop right next to it is, would you? I swear it's a bodega.

                    2. Surprised that no one has mentioned the Versailles chain, my favorite next to Porto's.

                      1000 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                      Versailles Restaurant
                      1000 Universal Center Dr #v206, Universal City, CA

                      10319 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                      1415 S La Cienega Blvd Ste 1, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                      17410 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316

                      1. Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica near Pico, almost at the beach.

                        1. I think they've moved, but Xiomara on Raymond Ave. in Pasadena used to do an awesome Cuban for lunch. That and a mojito in one of their strange tilting glasses, and I'm a new man. Xiomara on Melrose is still there but haven't tried the Cuban. Should be the same, but you never know.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: omakase

                            The Pasadena branchchanged its name to Cafe Atlantic -- still under the same ownership and location, but with a more casual Cuban menu, so I assume they still have Cubans and medianoches (I haven't been there).

                            1. re: omakase

                              Oh, and the link ...

                              Cafe Atlantic
                              69 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA

                              1. re: maxzook

                                Cafe Atlantic did have a terrific Cuban sandwich -- but sorry to day, the resturant is no more. It moved from its location on Raymond some time ago to a room behind Xiomara -- and things started to go downhill from then on. From what I understand, Xiomara sold out to some Cuban-Americans who closed Cafe Atlantic and turned Xiomara into Mojito's. We've never eaten at Mojito's -- with a name like that it's difficult to believe that they are serious about the food. We really miss Cafe Atlantic -- and the place that took over its Raymond St. location (Breitart Cafe?) offers really indiffernet food.

                            2. To be a bit more specific about the Porto's recommendation, I would go for the Media Noche con Preparada. This is on a sweeter roll w/ added potato balls. Much better than the straight Cuban sandwich. Every time I eat one, I feel like I could order two more.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: alexfood

                                Thanks for this tip, I'll give it a shot and hope that it's better than the "regular" which I think is dreadful...

                              2. La Bamba in Burbank is pretty danged good.


                                1. Tropicana Bakery, Downey. Prefer it over Porto's, by stretches.

                                  there's apparently a rather large Cuban ex-pat population in Downey and adjacent (witness 3-4 cuban restaurants within the vacinities).

                                  1. Del Rey Deli in Playa Del Rey. Been back several times just for this sandwich... amazing...



                                    1. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you recently saw the movie Chef?

                                      3 Replies
                                          1. re: bringiton

                                            Ay caramba! Or, Ay Papa Que Rico in Van Nuys http://www.yelp.com/biz/ay-papa-que-r... (if anyone from 2007 is still looking?)