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Versailles

Versailles Famous Garlic Chicken

WHY Succulent roast pork and Cuban-style roast chicken, and (when it’s available) amazing oxtail, too. WHAT A no-frills, inexpensive L.A. landmark beloved for its garlicky marinated roast chicken, juicy, salty Cuban roast pork, plantains, black beans and rice. Branches on south La Cienega, Encino, and Culver City. 10319 Venice Blvd., Culver City, 310.558.3168, versaillescuban.com. L […]

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Tropicana Bakery

WHY Sweet Cuban classics and worthy sandwiches and entrées. WHAT Like Porto’s, Tropicana blurs the line between bakery and restaurant. It has lots of great pastries—rum-soaked raspberry tarts, éclairs sweetened with dulce de leche, empanada-like pastelitos stuffed with the likes of cheese and guava—all of which go down even easier with a sip of Cuban […]

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Xiomara

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WHY The lunch-only cubano sandwiches are delightful, especially the pan con lechón (shredded pork with Spanish peppers). And the Cuban club is a tasty fusion of marinated turkey breast with applewood-smoked bacon on sourdough. WHAT This is no ordinary cubano sandwich joint—although they do serve them, elegantly, and garnished with microgreens, no less. Xiomara Ardolina’s […]

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Porto’s Bakery

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WHY The ornate tiered wedding cakes are award winners, and the Cuban sandwiches are worth driving across town for, as many do. WHAT This huge, gleaming café and bakery, founded by Cuban immigrants in the ’60s, displays a gorgeous and staggeringly diverse array of goods. Where else can you find Cuban bread, all-American cheesecake and […]

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La Descarga

WHY The hottest bar of the last few years, it takes speakeasy chic to new heights. WHAT It’s hard to believe such a classy joint hides behind such a grimy exterior. That’s the idea. This dim bar, perfumed with the scent of cigars, is a paean to bartender Pablo Moix’s sweet and fancy rum cocktails. […]

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Liborio Market

WHY The most wondrous array of Latin American foods: Brazilian manioc meal, dried Peruvian potatoes, Guatemalan mashed black beans, the Salvadoran coffee cake called quesadilla, squishy-sweet ripe plantains, Mexican chorizos and marinated meat and, during the holidays, great tamales from many regions. WHAT This pan-Latin market draws cooks and enthusiastic eaters looking for ingredients for […]

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Mayumba

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WHY The sandwich de cerdo with caramelized onions is mind-blowingly good. And there’s dancing to a Cuban orchestra on weekends! WHAT It’s got a lively weekend bar scene, a fine, buttoned-down dining room and all-around good Cuban cooking, but Mayumba’s sandwiches—cubanos and media noches fueled by a terrific lechón asado steeped in a garlic/sour orange […]

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La Caridad

WHY The media noches (Cuban sandwiches made on eggy bread that’s just a little sweet) just might be the best in the city. WHAT This Filipinotown hole-in-the-wall features a Formica countertop and an ancient iron stove where sandwich magic is regularly performed: The classic cubano sandwich is composed of fresh-roasted pork piled on enormous slices […]

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Havana Sandwich Company

WHY Classic cubanos, plus, for those who like to push the envelope, creative variations like spicy jerk chicken and corned beef. The Mediterranean—roasted pork and feta cheese—is truly outstanding. WHAT These uncommonly well-crafted cubano sandwiches transcend their ingredients (roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and a loaf that’s crunchy outside and soft within) when grilled into […]

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Café Tropical

WHY Café con leche, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, guava cheese pastry and a hearty Cuban sandwich. WHAT Catch a vestige of Silver Lake before it was completely gentrified at this funky Cuban café, which was once filled with actual cigar-smoking refugees. WHO A regular and longstanding crowd of bohemians. 2900 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323.661.8391 […]

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