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What's your latest food project? Share your adventure


jsl 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.

  1. f
    foodiemahoodie Feb 4, 2012 10:42 PM

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

    13 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie
      jsl Feb 4, 2012 11:17 PM

      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................how is the food at the other location?

      1. re: foodiemahoodie
        Tkn Feb 5, 2012 12:09 AM

        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
          Baron Feb 5, 2012 05:01 AM

          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
          Tapeworm Feb 5, 2012 08:29 AM

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


          1. re: Tapeworm
            jdwdeville Feb 7, 2012 06:03 PM

            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
              Peripatetic Feb 7, 2012 06:08 PM

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

              1. re: Peripatetic
                jdwdeville Feb 7, 2012 06:47 PM

                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
                  Peripatetic Feb 7, 2012 06:56 PM

                  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
                  Ernie Feb 9, 2012 11:42 AM

                  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
                  Bruin2 Feb 8, 2012 08:27 PM

                  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
                    Porthos Feb 11, 2012 09:40 AM

                    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
                      trvlcrzy Feb 11, 2012 11:24 PM

                      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
                        Bruin2 Feb 17, 2012 12:43 PM

                        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. flylice2x Feb 5, 2012 12:23 AM

                Food is still good. Going there tomorrow for lunch

                1 Reply
                1. re: flylice2x
                  ZoeZ Feb 5, 2012 09:01 AM

                  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. b
                  Bradbury Feb 5, 2012 09:38 AM

                  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
                    wienermobile Feb 5, 2012 10:52 AM

                    +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. n
                    NAspy Feb 5, 2012 08:49 PM

                    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. c
                      chowchi1 Feb 6, 2012 09:35 AM

                      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
                        medrite Feb 13, 2012 09:26 AM

                        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.

                      2. katydid13 Feb 6, 2012 03:21 PM

                        I try to eat at Versailles at least once every couple of months just for the roast pork, which is divine. (I've only been in LA a few years, so I can't vouch for what it was like years ago.) The Culver City location is much bigger than the one on La Cienega, which is tiny, but I found the iced tea MUCH better at La Cienega. So if you prefer fresh-brewed iced tea to the soda-fountain swill, I'd go for La Cienega -- a minor point, I realize!

                        1. katydid13 Feb 6, 2012 03:21 PM

                          I try to eat at Versailles at least once every couple of months just for the roast pork, which is divine. (I've only been in LA a few years, so I can't vouch for what it was like years ago.) The Culver City location is much bigger than the one on La Cienega, which is tiny, but I found the iced tea MUCH better at La Cienega. So if you prefer fresh-brewed iced tea to the soda-fountain swill, I'd go for La Cienega -- a minor point, I realize!

                          1. w
                            waterisgood Feb 6, 2012 03:46 PM

                            I ate there a month ago for the first time in years. It was a Friday or Saturday night and I was surprised that it wasn't so busy, at least not like I remember where it was packed on the weekends during normal dinner hours. The garlic chicken, beans, and plantains were still as great as I remember.

                            1. t
                              TracyS Feb 7, 2012 01:13 PM

                              Culver City one is still good and my closest location.
                              I've always given the taste edge to the location on La Cienega even though I can't put my finger on why.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: TracyS
                                LuluTheMagnificent Feb 11, 2012 07:53 AM

                                I have a friend that lives in DC, every time she comes out here she has to go to Versailles. She told me years ago to only take her to the LaCienega one, that it was much better. I was surprised since I thought the Venice one was the original.

                                1. re: LuluTheMagnificent
                                  silverlakebodhisattva Feb 16, 2012 07:41 AM

                                  Venice location is the original, though La Cienega was pretty good the last time I hit it, which was nearly a decade ago. The Venice location has never disappointed me in 27 years, and I took my wife there for our first lunch date.....

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