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.

versailles
(la cienega location--there are 4 other locations around the la area)
1415 s la cienega blvd
los angeles 90035-3726
310.289.0392

4 comments:

Reid said...

Hi Santos,

Looks yummy! I haven't had Cuban food since the last time I was in Miami (back in '96). Too bad we can't get any Cuban food here. =(

Santos said...

hi reid

i guess i shouldn't be surprised that you can't find cuban food in honolulu, but i am. i think it's because good food is so important in hawaii, and there's just so much of it, and there are so many restaurants that i forget that outside of any asian cuisine, the choices are pretty limited. there isn't much in the way of range of south american/latino food (just mexican? and even then it's not the best), which is a shame, because i think it's still within the range of island tastes. fried bananas and rice! it should work, right?

Reid said...

Hi Santos,

We definitely need some good Spanish food here. By that I mean Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc. I have been to a couple of Mexican restaurants, and only one thus far has met my approval. There's a new taco shop that just opened up about 10 minutes from my apartment. Looks interesting enough to try out. My plate is actually quite full right now...the list of places to visit is growning longer by the day.

Santos said...

hi reid

even though it was a chain, i was bummed when gaucho grill closed down, because it was argentinian and something a little different. i love honolulu because there seems to be an endless amount of places to eat, and there's always something new opening up. i'm looking forward to what you discover out there!