For those of you who do not recognize the food in the picture, it is the garlic chicken from Versailles on Venice Blvd., perhaps the one restaurant responsible for most Los Angelenos' love of Cuban food. Versailles has been in Los Angeles since the 1970's and has several branches throughout the area from Manhattan Beach to Universal Citywalk. The garlic chicken ($10.95) is still as fabulous as it always has been with the tangy citrus sauce, slightly sauteed onions, white rice, black beans, and fried plantains.
It is always good to check and see if the classic is still as good as it always was even with time and popularity. Walking into the Culver City location, I was immediately greeted with a welcoming smile (as always in any location I have ever frequented). My friend Mika is coming to town and when I told her I was going to Versailles, she immediately started drooling over their oxtails ($14.95), which are falling off the bone tender in a slightly spicy sauce that is served with white rice and plaintains. I ordered a serving (I may have to get another since I ate half of the one I got "for her") along with their famous crispy skinned garlic chicken.
A close up view of the meltingly tender oxtails.
The very Cuban black beans that accompany the garlic chicken have a nice depth of flavor, but I like to perk them up with a few dashes of Tabasco.
Having been to Cuban restaurants in New York and Miami, I have to say that Versailles in Los Angeles is still my favorite Cuban restaurant in the US, and that is saying a lot with the plethora of Cuban transplants who have great restaurants on the East Coast. Versailles will forever be my definition of truly fabulous Cuban Food.