Casa Don Rolando, Cuban in North Hills
Disclaimer: I am not a Cuban food expert, the only other Cuban food experiences have been Versailles.
I gave my husband the task of choosing our Valentines dinner, following the tradition of not going out on Valentines eve but the night after. Mostly we do this to avoid the fixed menu rip-offs and the crowds. So we went out Sunday the 15th and had the opposite experience, we were the only people in the restaurant. This made me extremely sad.
Chef Rolando Gonzalez opened this place in March of 2008, I was surprised to not find any reviews on CH. Before opening Casa Don Rolando, Chef Rolando partnered with Jennifer Lopez on her restaurant, Madre's after she had his food at a party and fell in love.
Casa Don Rolando is a comfortable, open place, on a dark, side street in a not-so-savory part of town. It's got it's cards stacked against it which is a shame because it's really lovely and we do want to go back if it's still around in six months.
We started with Papa Rellenas (fried balls of meat and mashed potatoes). My husband had prawn dish and I had a chicken dish. All of the entrees come with rice, beans (or rice and beans) and choice of french fries, yucca or plantains. The portions were very large and the flavors very good. For dessert we split a tres leches cake which was delicious.
The service was attentive as it should have been considering that we were the only ones there. We spoke with the waiter and he told us they were completely jammed on Valentines Day eve, which made me happy.
With one cola, the bill came to just over $50. They didn't offer a wine list, and while I see they had a full bar, it's unclear if they have a liquor license. On another website that had some reviews, I noticed people mentioning that they don't.
Considering how unadventurous my husband is, I was thrilled he chose something so different and the fact that we liked it was even better.
Casa Don Rolando
8755 Parthenia Place, North Hills, CA 91343