8.20.2005

Restaurant Review #54: Versailles Cuban Restaurant, Encino


Fried yuca

I ordered the fried yuca because they were out of croquettes (I was really excited about those, too, as they were one of my favorite dishes in Spain). Yuca is a plant that grows in the desert which I did not realize had edible parts. It's very starchy, but stickier and sweeter than a potato. I didn't think it tasted like much--they would have benefitted from a dipping sauce, or from not being cut into such large pieces. They were fried perfectly, however-- crispy and pale golden brown, much like tempura.


Black bean soup

I've heard much raving about Cuban black bean soup, and I will confirm that the Cubans do indeed know how to embellish black beans. Yum. This bowl was huge. No one can eat this many beans in one sitting, I'm fairly certain. This soup alone was three meals for small appetite me.


Garlic Sauce

This garlic sauce was excellent. It's a thin, tangy, dare I say pungent sauce. If you go to Versailles, make sure to order something that comes with this sauce.


Chicken and the best fried plantains I've ever tasted

We ordered a roasted chicken (which is a house specialty, and what the garlic sauce came with). I probably wouldn't have liked it without the sauce, because I'm not a fan of roasted chicken. The outside had a great spice rub, but in order to taste that you had to eat the chicken skin, which I'm not fond of. I would have preferred that the onions on top be sauteed, rather than raw. The fried plantains, unlike most I've had, were truly worth raving about, and surprisingly tasted good with the bit of garlic sauce they had sopped up. Next time I'll order a whole plate of fried plantains.

I also had a guanabana shake, which was good, but I prefer the juice alone. The milk/ice cream dilutes the already delicate flavor of guanabana. (By the way, the accent falls on the antepenultimate syllable: wah NAH bahnah.)

The decor was kind of 90's and nothing exciting--dark green carpet, red vinyl chairs (or was it the other way around?) dark wood and a mirrored wall. Service was prompt and unobtrusive. The restaurant smells like a homey Mexican kitchen (or Cuban, but I haven't smelled any kitchens in Cuba). I'd definitely like to go back.

Versailles No. 3
(818) 906-0756
17410 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316
http://www.versaillescuban.com/

Other locations too. Visit the website for info.

5 comments:

Biebs said...

Just passing by :)
Looking good...

Xericx said...

Hey, just saw your blog linked on Chowhound....nice stuff...I'll put it on my bookmarks to check out.

I like Versailles...esp. the Roast pork and the garlic chicken. Good stuff. I try not to stray away from those dishes.

Anonymous said...

Amy, It's your new fan again. Cuban food gets even better at the very tiny El Rincon Criollo (since 1969, 4361 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, 310/397 9295) It's across the street from the model train store. Less grease. In the past, I didn't give this one out for fear of crowds. We preordered a take away pork leg (yes PIG-they have other selections) with plantains, bean beans and rice for a large xmas dinner feast. It's a deal and food doesn't get any better. Take Care D.

Foodie Universe said...

Thanks for the tip, D. There are many places in Culver City I would like to try, like Fassica and that new gourmet sandwich place in the cooking supply store.

Do I know you in real life, by any chance? Just curious. I understand the desire to maintain anonymity.

Foodie Universe said...

What's the atmosphere like there? Are there better/worse days/times to visit?