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Jul 17, 2008 11:06 AM

Upscale Cuban in LA?

Any suggestions for a little upscale Cuban in LA (as opposed to small (but good) strip mall location)?


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  1. You have to see the Coco Palms off the 10 freeway in SG has one of the best views ever. The restaurant is pretty fancy, and nestled into the side of a foothill. The entrance has large birdcages with fancy parrots and sets the tone for a fun and elegant experience. The food is delicious and the portions are huuuuuuge! I heard they have dancing on the weekends too.
    Enjoy it!

    1. Xiomara is supposed to be pretty good, and is certainly upscale (We've had only drinks - KILLER mojitos! - at her old place, as the menu was not within our budget at that time). Her current location is on Melrose, I believe. Her old restaurant here in Pasadena has another name and has been favorably commented on...unfortunately, I'm coming up blank on what that name is. Oh, I'm such a fountain of information today! - wish I could be more help, but I'm sure someone will come along and fill in the blanks...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        I believe you are thinking of Cafe Atlantic. Xiomara on Melrose is probably OP's best bet.

        6101 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

        Cafe Atlantic
        69 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA

        1. re: Will Owen

          The ex-Xiomara at Pasadena is now called Mojitos. I believe they changed the decor to be more casual but it's not strip-mallish (I saw photos on la eater). I haven't been but know of the owners.

        2. I would like to call your attention to the Cuban Bistro in Alhambra

          It provides traditional dishes as well as some interesting offerings. Weekends are for salsa and jazz can be heard on Thursday night. Although I love Xiomara for being very creative, great atmosphere good service, Cuban Bistro is very people friendly with a casual atmosphere in an upscale setting.

          1. Jennifer Lopez owns a cuban restaurant in Hollywood.. I forgot the name.. Pics of it looked nice, trendy modern design.. haven't heard anything about the food.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Adsvino

                From my chair the two best are: Cuban Bistro and Xiomara. Xiomara is definately more swank though and might be what you are looking for. They do a great job.

                1. re: Adsvino

                  And it was in Pasadena, not Hollywood. Yes, I just read that it closed, not nearly as quickly as it should have. I wonder what'll go in that space next. If I had the money and the skill, I'd try to resurrect the Chronicle...

              2. I had a wonderful Cuban meal with a friend at Mercedes' Cuban Grill, in the Marina Del Rey, last night. The ambiance is really nice. Lush tropical setting inside. Tables outside too. We ordered a couple of Margarita's at the bar while we waited for a table outside. The margs were delicious and we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table. We started with the Caribbean Tuna Pica "RAW" appetizer which was wonderful. Then we split the Ropa Vieja (flank steak stew meat over rice and black beans, served with plantains). It was comfort food at it's best. Wonderful meal, beautiful setting, excellent people watching!! Honestly, before going I thought that the place would be another mediocre tourist trap... but it soo wasn't. Definitely a pleasant surprise. Their menu is posted on citysearch.