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Mar 1, 2008 10:42 AM

Asia de Cuba - Review

I love Tom. He was our waiter and did just about everything you need from a waiter. He told us honestly what to get and what not to get which is so helpful at a place like this with such an enormous menu. He was like a cross between Bill Mahr's honesty and Steve Martin's charm. Gotta love that.

We ate...
Thai Beef Salad - Carpaccio of beef, citrus dressing on arugula and other mixed greens with those crunchy Asian chips, orange wedges, and avocad chunks. Dressing had a good heat contrast of that red rooster sauce. Went very well with the spicy Zinfandel I was drinking.
Tuna Tartare - dead on as far as Asian style tartare goes. Deliciously smooth, a medium to large size dice of the tuna and the right balance of salt.
Cuban BBQ Chicken - I don't normally order chicken but of the entrees we were interested in, Tom said this was the best option. I very much liked it. Chicken was perfectly cooked, tender, juicy. Chunks of a mango salsa were refreshing. And tamarind sauce on the chicken had a bit of a spicy kick. This was a rather sweet dish but I like that so if you are sweet sensitive then I would not recommend it. The dish also came with a Thai sticky rice in a banana leaf. Good texture but it smelled and tasted like tea! This wasn't bad but not exactly favorable.
Side of Chinese Long Beans with Chicharones - The typical soy glaze on the beans and perfectly crispy pork. Loved it.
Side of Lobster-Boniato mash - Boniato is a kind of sweet potato. Incredibly decadent with lots of cream and butter. What is not to love? The perfect amount of seasoning too and a few sprigs of Italian parsley for color. This dish was huge especially for a side. I would have preferred it to be smaller but with the same amount of lobster so that you can have some of the meat with every bite.
Carrot Cake with Pineapple cream cheese frosting - Oh my god. 'Nuff said. I was very skeptical about the pineapple but it was a very faint amount and was either unnoticed or just blended well.

Closing arguments - They say that for two people you should order two appetizer, one entree and one side. Listen to them! We had two apps, one entree, two sides and dessert and I have enough food left over to feed an army. Really listen to them. What seems like a very expensive, even over priced restaurant will come out rather affordable if you restrain on ordering. No comment on the SoCal Arizona exports that flock here ....The Asian Cuban fusion really impressed me and I know I will crave this food and return soon.

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  1. The original carrot cake recipe that caught on in the 70s had pineapple in the cake, so it's not that odd to have it in the frosting.

    Asia De Cuba
    495 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102

    1. Nice report ... normally I wouldn't ask ... but what is 'rather affordable'. I looked at the menu and it says appetizers are $18 - $30, entrees $22 - $79 , and sides are $8 - $16 (the lobster?)

      Thanks... we don't get many (any?) detailed reports on the place.

      They serve breakfast there. I feel like this is a deja-vu question ... but I wonder if anyone has had breakfast at Asia de Cuba. There are always questions about breakfast in Union Square and they serve it 7 days a week starting at 7 am.

      1. It sounds like this local incarnation of a very medicore mini chain might be better than the original? I would definitely not recommend it to anyone visiting L.A.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Ditto with the new york location. Overpriced and underwhelming, more attention to the decor than the food imo. But maybe it's worth a second look here...
          What was the total bill for your dinner laurenb?