Monday, November 01, 2004
lunch from versailles.
michael, my cousin, flew in from arizona for the day to surprise my mom for her birthday; we decided to get cuban food for lunch as merci, his wife, asked him to bring back something from versailles, a sort of fast food-ish cuban joint down the street from me. he's a brave man for handcarrying a versailles meal on a plane--almost every item on the menu involves copious amounts of garlic and onion, with a scent that lingers on your clothes and on your body for hours afterwards.
i know there are better cuban restaurants in town, but for sheer convenience, and for hearty basic items, you should be more than satisfied. we ordered the famoso pollo versailles (famous versailles chicken)--chicken marinated in citrus juice, garlic, spices, and onion, then roasted and topped with raw onion rings, and served with rice and black beans, and fried platanos (plantains). the chicken skin is thin and crispy, the meat succulent and tender, and absolutely reeking in the the gorgeous citrus garlic marinade. the beans are slow cooked and the rice is fluffy and light. we were slightly disappointed by the platanos, some of which were more hard than firm, but the majority were just as they should be--starchy, not too sweet, not mushy.
portions are huge--you get half a chicken and a good quart of rice and beans--and most items on the menu are between $6-$12, which, given the portion size, is a great value. other standout menus on the items are any of the pork items--macitas de puerco (fried chunks of pork) to the chuletas de puerco empanisado (fried breaded pork chops); also, ropa vieja (literally "old clothes")--shredded flank steak simmered in a tomato-wine sauce, and basically anything covered in the garlic butter sauce.
(la cienega location--there are 4 other locations around the la area)
1415 s la cienega blvd
los angeles 90035-3726