Cubans in this town have it tough. There are plenty of places you can speak Spanish, but few with decent arroz y frijoles. The key, says Miami native Oro3030, is to piece it together.
-La Cubana has excellent, authentic ropa vieja–but their moros y cristianos (black beans mixed with white rice) is just passable.
-Havana Mania has good lechon and great mojitos, but also poor beans and rice.
-At Cafe Baracoa, you can get an authetic flan and good arroz y frijoles, but the rest of the food is unimpressive.
-El Cochinito is a big board favorite, with delicious roast pork, chicken, plantains, and beans.
El Colmao also gets a lot of love. Says ZoeZ, the food is marvelous–occasional special of Galician soup is so deeply flavored, they must use nine chickens to a bowl. There’s tongue on Mondays, and a dessert called tocino de cielo (bacon from heaven), something you don’t see every day. Downside: crap neighborhood, including the parking lot in front where the guard promises to take care of your car–for a tip. Leaving the lot, you may have someone tap on your window, trying to make a sale. Despite the (otherwise) positive reviews, though, Oro3030 reports being disappointed there.
Some hounds consider Xiomara to have the best Cuban sandwich in LA, but the prices are off-putting–if you’re used to paying $3, it’s hard to fork over $12. Still, it’s cheaper than air fare to Miami.
Few places are more authentic, or more humble, than La Caridad, says Kris P Pata. The husband-and-wife team are as genuine as the food they cook.
El Cochinito Restaurant [Silverlake]
3508 W. Sunset Blvd., at Golden Gate, Los Angeles
El Colmao [Koreatown]
2328 W. Pico Blvd., at Vermont, Los Angeles
Xiomara On Melrose [Hollywood]
6101 Melrose Ave., at Seward, Los Angeles
La Caridad Restaurant [Echo Park]
2137 W. Temple St., at Alvarado, Los Angeles
Board Links: REAL CUBAN FOOD