When you are craving flavourful comfort food, La Cubana’s delicious cuban fare will be at the top of your list.
Deep-fried Conch Fritters with a creamy, spicy dipping sauce kickstarts your taste buds. The garlic lime dressing fries also deliver a punch of flavour. Start with these two options and perhaps their delicious Guava Fizz drink and you will feel right at home and maybe even want to put your feet up.
That’s not all. The classic Cubano Sandwich is given a French twist, using Dijon mustard instead of plain yellow mustard, and white bread instead of Cuban bread. Bite into the delicious medley of French Black Forest ham, roasted pork shoulder, Gruyere Swiss cheese, red onions, French grain dijon and chipotle mayo. The result is a indulgently rich, cheesy, meaty pressed sandwich, just what you need when it’s rainy and cold out.
If you go for the Pressed Cubano, you will need some sides. Besides the Conch Fritters, we recommend trying the Yuca Fritas; yuca is a root vegetable that is a staple at Cuban parties and gatherings. The yuca is boiled with turmeric and salt, then deep fried and serve with a lime and garlic emulsion.
The highlight for us was the Braised Short Ribs, which are braised for 5 hours to make it extra soft and topped with guava sauce. Cuban beef is usually very tough, hence the extensive amount of time required to transform it into a tender version that could easily be ‘cut’ with a fork. The short ribs are served on a simple bed of beans and rice along with spicy, pickled vegetables and fried plantain chips. While some may shy away from the guava sauce, assuming it would be too sweet, the dish is very well-balanced, we were actually very glad the chef chose a sauce that did not overpowering the original flavour of the meat.
If you are looking for a place to catch up with a friend over casual, delicious comfort food, you will likely find yourself parked as one of the booths at the mint-tiled restaurant, asking for seconds, or thirds, of their signature spicy mango dipping sauce.
392 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, Ontario
Photos by Florence Leung