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Feb 4, 2012 09:54 PM


Is it still good. We used to love the pork at the Redondo location with the Pork, garlic chicken, plantains, rice and black beans. But my granddaughter has moved to Culver City and is close to the one near there. Are they still good? Which location is the best? Is it worth taking our family to that location? I know there are many restaurants in that area that are good and I'll do that later but we loved Versailles in Redondo and now need to know if it is worth going there.

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  1. Any good reason why a Cuban restaurant that serves Cuban food calls itself Verssailles?

    13 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie

      You have a point. No problem, just wanting to know about the food there and if it is still good. It has been around for ages, so people must not care about the name being French instead of Cuban. Perhaps someone will know why, still has great food, at least the last time I went to the R
      edondo location. So the question is the food at the other location?

      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        Going out on a limb here, but I think it had to do with the Treaty of Versailles. Shortly after the treaty was signed, the Seven Years War broke out between Great Britain and France and its ally Spain. The British took over Havana in 1762 and instituted free trade. This greatly benefited the Cuban economy. When Spain regained control of Cuba again, they allowed free trade to continue and thus Cuba prospered. So maybe they view the Treaty of Versailles as the catalyst for their prosperity?

        I, too, would like to know how the restaurant is doing. Haven't been in over a decade. FWIW, the location in Culver City is the original one, so it's probably the best of the bunch?

        1. re: Tkn

          Thanks for the history lesson. Very interesting. I've enjoyed the Culver City location but haven't been in a while. Would be interested in recent reviews.

        2. re: foodiemahoodie

          The Versailles here is named after the the restaurant in Miami...

          1. re: Tapeworm

            Tapeworm beat me to it. The most famous traditional Cuban restaurant in Miami is indeed Versailles. I must say though, the Miami restaurant has NOTHING to do with the LA chain and the cooking at the LA locations are at best "good for LA" and not "good Cuban food". Case in point is their Vaca Frita. No self-respecting Cuban joint within 100 miles of Miami would ever just deep-fry a skirt or flank steak and slap it on a plate! That steak has to be boiled with seasonings then finger-numbingly shredded and marinated overnight in garlic, lime, and cumin, then crisped in a hot pan with a small amount of oil. It is a painstakingly long process to do right...

            1. re: jdwdeville

              jdwdeville, is there any place in the LA area that attempts to do vaca frita correctly?

              1. re: Peripatetic

                Honestly, none that I've found. I do it for special occasions or when Miami friends are in town, but it really is time consuming... Steven Raichlen has a great recipe for it (though he halves the amount of the garlic/lime/cumin secondary marinade that I use) in his excellent Miami Spice cookbook. Couldn't find a printed version online to link to, but if anyone is serious about making it I can give you mine.

                1. re: jdwdeville

                  Thanks, and thanks for the offer. Google Books appears to show the whole recipe (though, unfortunately, his ropa vieja recipe is truncated). Sounds excellent!

                2. re: Peripatetic

                  Give La Cubana in Glendale a call, they are my fave Cuban restaurant in LA Metro area and they might have it available


                3. re: jdwdeville

                  OK, but to be fair. I've eaten at Versailles in Miami and the restaurants here on both Venice and La Cienaga and I would take the garlic chicken and lechon asado here in a heartbeat over the flavorless stuff they serve in Miami. And so would everyone else in my party that has eaten here and in Miami.

                  1. re: Bruin2

                    I agree with jdwdeville. The Cuban food at Versilles LA is good enough for LA but I wouldn't touch it in Miami. Even La Carretta in MIA airport does better vaca frita and tostones.

                    I would rank Versilles LA well below my go to spots in Miami including Puerto Sagua and Playa Cafe for the stuff I like: chicharones de pollo, masitas de puerco, rabo, ropa vieja, lechon asado, tostones...todo.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      I second La Carretta in MIA. Actually look forward to our MIA stops because of this. As for the Versailles in Redondo, the one by Culver City is way better IMO than the Manhattan Beach branch.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        I should have been more specific. I was not saying LA Versailles is better than cuban food in Miami. I was just saying that LA Versailles is better than Miami Versailles.

              2. Food is still good. Going there tomorrow for lunch

                1 Reply
                1. re: flylice2x

                  Food is still good - remember the days when the garlic chicken was $4.95 with everything; was a tiny storefront with a bar and a sultry waitress with magenta lipstick who asked, What ja want - they had an outstanding white Spanish wine for $5 a bottle - what an evening! Tomas was still in knee sox LOL. Before the Cubans moved in, the restaurant was an Indian restaurant for a time also called Versailles: our only meal there was distinguished by the fact that they had run out of rice to serve with the meal. - Shortlived restaurant.

                2. When you say "Redondo location" I think you mean Manhattan Beach (on PCH, a bit south of MB Blvd.) In my recent experience, the food and atmosphere there is pretty dismal compared to the Culver City and Palms locations (I haven't been to the Encino one yet).

                  So I'd recommend going with your family to the Culver City Versailles, but for Cuban food in the South Bay I'd suggest Havana Mania in north Redondo instead.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bradbury

                    +1 for Havana Mania. Really Good. I love their Tuesday night special
                    Lechon Asado / Roast Pork. Served with rice, beans and plantains served after 5pm only $11.99.
                    Live music on weekends too.

                    Havana Mania
                    3615 Inglewood Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

                  2. The original location is in Culver City, on Venice Blvd. The food is still the same, so if you liked it then, you will like it now. I think the plantains may not be as good as they were, but the Cuban style roast pork is still a favorite in our family.

                    I will say I don't think their chicken is of the best quality, but it's "fine,"

                    1. The Encino location was sub par last time I visited. Had the pork but it was more fat than meat and seemingly undercooked. It was so disappointing and vowed not to return here. I will say that the Culver CIty location is considered the best location. Had roasted pork dish at Porto's in Burbank yesterday -- much much better -- muy bueno!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chowchi1

                        I agree with your assessment of the Encino Versailles -- I had lunch there about a year ago and had a terrible experience. I ordered chicken (I think it was the garlic chicken), and it came out on a plate buried in raw onions and swimming in juice. There was no way to get to the chicken without spilling onions and juice all over the table. When I pointed this out to the waiter, he stood there and argued with me! I wouldn't go back. There are better places.