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Sep 23, 2001 07:54 PM

good cuban chow

  • d

If you can fight your way past the pierced tatooed trendy sheep at millies, eating their overpriced mediocre "devil's mess" (shit on a shingle), in the little mall right next door, between the thrift store and baskin robbins, is a truly fab cuban joint, el cochinito, that i would put up against versailles anyday,,, on sunday they have a roast pork that is truly awesome,,its a little joint, so i have mixed feelings about letting this cat out of the bag, but the food is down home and the staff swell,,, its been a hang for locals, and i would hate to see the lot fill up with suv's, but hey, good chow is good chow..

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  1. Shhhhh!

    RFGS in Silverlake

    2 Replies
    1. re: RFGS

      anybody got any faboo findings on tomatillo salsa, esp on enchiladas con pollo? i know mexico city does a good one..any more out there? i like that sweet sweet homemade hot kind,,and i am on the east side

      1. re: debbie

        There is a little Oaxacan Market on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista about 1/2 mile West of the 405 on the South side of the street - I don't know the name but Oaxaca is in big letters on the Venice side. It sells freshly made salsas by the pint for $2.00 - the tomatillo is very good. They also sell breads, meats, mole (Oaxacan made), dried shrimp, freshly made string cheese and at the present they have chapulines (grasshoppers).

    2. a
      Adrian Hopkins

      Actually, IMO, I think all the Versailles chains are over hyped, serve terrible food, are a lousy value, and have some of the worse value ever. I don't even care for the Versailles in Miami either. As such, I would be hesitant to use them as a benchmark for comparison, and I'm not at all suprised you managed to find something better.

      By the way, have you tried other Cuban restaurants in town? Again, this is just my opinion, but I think El Floridita in Hollywood have the best overall Cuban food so far, with a very extensive menu. Ricon Criollo in Culver City probably have the best Cuban garlic fried chicken, shredded garlic pork, and the best sweet plantains. I also love their chicken soup. Another favorite of mine is Havana on Sunset, who make a killer Chicken Fricasse, and cornmeal pudding. Albeit I didn't care for their other stuff.
      There's also La Cubana in Pasedena, which I haven't tried yet, but is rumored to be worth trying.

      I will be sure to try out your recommendation in the near future! I hope perhaps you will give some of the restaurants I mentioned a try also, if you haven't yet checked them out already.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Adrian Hopkins

        Ricon Criollo was totally average the time I was there. We had the roast pork and it was dry compared to Versailles and a much smaller portion (not important but true). I am in love with Versailles Sauteed Lamb and also the Picadillo. Even if they are not authentic, they are amazingly good. I am also now addicted to fried yucca. The oil at Versailles could either be fresher or suffers from frying thousands of plantains in the same oil. I still really enjoy the "not a potato" flavor. Havana Mania is also very good. Little Havana was also quite enjoyable, especially the papaya and cream cheese dessert. When I wrote about it last time I don't think anyone tried it, that dessert is SO different that you can't try it and not react in some way. It looks weird and tastes wonderful. The roast pork there was like Ricon Criollo by the way.

        1. re: Just Larry
          Adrian Hopkins

          When was the last time you were at Ricon Criollo Larry? I myself discovered the place back in May this year, and have gone back a few times since. I was last there in early August. The food was pretty consistent during the varios visits I made. I'm not sure when you were there, but perhaps it was before May?

          Anyhow, I agree that the portions at RC's (Rincon Criollo) are smaller than Versialles', but I felt the garlic-lemon sauce used was much more refined. To me, I aways thought Ver's sauce was a bit too sour and oily, as I the person making the sauce didn't pay enough attention to the matter. I always get a case of annoying stomach acid after ating at Vers. Meanwhile, El Floridita's sauce is even more subtle than RC's, which some people may actually prefer. But to me, RC's sauce seem to be the most balanced, but that's just more opinion, and YMMV.

          About RC's sweet plantains, I found it far better than Vers' which also very oily, soggy, and somehow the taste and texture just doesn't seem right. Their Miami branch makes much better plantians, but I think it still doesn't compare to RC's which I find are the best yet.

          I also like RC's bread and chicken soup very much. The soup tastes very home-made, hearty, and seems to be quite healthy unlike the greasy Caldo Gallego (which I also like) from La Floridita. I didn't recall if Vers had a soup, perhaps I forgot.

          BTW- Was the roast pork you had, the shredded roast pork, or was it the regular roast pork? I ask because I've tried both, and I find the shredded pork slightly more appealing.

          You mentioned a Little Havana, and Havana Mania BTW, do you know their address? I would like to check them out sometime, especially the dessert you mentioned. Thnaks!

          1. re: Adrian Hopkins

            It has been years since I was there. I was perfectly happy with Versailles and was just checking out an alternative. I don't order the chicken at any of the Cuban places. It is best to get the addresses at so you can also click on the map.

            Good Luck

            1. re: Adrian Hopkins

              hey hey! you guys are some real chowhounds, eh? personally, i can't get through that thick cuban macho arrogant 'ay cuba es el numero uno en todo el mundo' attitude, that has made la floridita off-putting on fountain, and almost got me punched out in south beach.. versailles is become one of those places like tommy's, or titos tacos, where no one would dare admit the food is crap because, well, hey, sacrosanct, right? i have had some mighty dry pollo at vers, and some greasy yuca, that i sent right back,,,perhaps i shall toddle down to RC and check out moros y cristianos, gracias,,,,,stay tuned