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ISO Good Cuban Restaurant (Not Versailles) in LA, East Valley, or Pasadena

Hey Hounds,

I'm looking to take my husband out to dinner with a few friends for his birthday. He wants Cuban, but we've already done Versailles multiple times for previous bdays. Are there any rec's for a good Cuban restaurant in L.A., the Eastern part of the Valley, or Pasadena? We're not looking to spend a bunch, but I don't want a fast food place either.


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  1. I used to frequent Cuba Central (downtown L.A.) when I worked in the area, and I always enjoyed it. But I haven't been back in a couple of years.

    Cuba Central
    114 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    1. When I last went, Guantanamera in Burbank was decent (better than Versailles, but not even close to Miami standards); I haven't been in a while and I haven't heard anything in a while, so go with your eyes open.

      Guantanamera Restaurant Inc.
      916 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA

      1. I like El Rincon Criollo on occasion, better food, smaller and quieter space than Versailles. I only order the roast chicken or roast pork, both served with plantains, black beans and white rice and the tropical fruit shakes are tasty.

        El Rincon Criollo
        4361 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

        1. Girlfriend likes Baracoa, maybe worth a try if you are nearby.

          Baracoa Cuban Cafe
          3175 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

          1. Xiomara

            6101 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

            1 Reply
            1. re: pinpei

              I agree with Xiomara. We had a fantastic dinner there a couple of months ago. However, very troubling that it was so empty.

              6101 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

            2. How about Portos?

              A cubano paired with a mojito (virgin), finished off with a tres leches cake and I'd be a happy birthday companion.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                No offense, but the Cubano at Porto sis all kinds of wrong - wrong bread, wrong mustard, wrong cooking..ugh. I will admit some of their other stuff if pretty good, but the Cuban is just wrong.

                That said, I agree with the other poster about Baracoa, the Ropa Vieja and the Ox-tail are great.

              2. I'm partial to either El Cochinito in Silverlake, on Sunset Blvd. Or El Colmao on Pico near Vermont. Both are very reasonably priced and have very good food.

                El Colmao
                2328 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                El Cochinito
                3508 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

                1 Reply
                1. re: estone888

                  I prefer el colmao, but for convenience, la floridita in hollywood isn't bad.

                2. Mambo's in Burbank has good food, though not exactly a special occasion place.

                  1. La Cubana in Glendale is very good and the atmosphere is nice enough for a birthday

                    La Cubana Restaurant
                    135 North Maryland Avenue, Glendale, CA

                      1. re: Theo

                        I second El Floridita. A little pricey for dinner, but a great entertainment on the weekends. Restaurant.com has a pretty decent coupon if you want to check it out! Roasted chicken was awesome.

                        El Floridita
                        1253 Vine St Ste 3, Los Angeles, CA 90038