So have finally made it down to rincon criolla in Culver City, and it compares favorably with my thus-far-favorite-Cuban el chochinita in Silverlake.
El Chochinita is still the Goddamn Roast Pork King. Holy Christ. Have written on this before. Beautiful pork - intense salty crackling crust, with a tender-fluffy-moist cotton candy interior.
Rincon Criolla has kind of sad roast pork. Flavorless and mushy. But, the other things:
Roast chicken with garlic sauce. Very good. Nice crunch on the skin. Intense, high/sour garlic sauce.
Shrimp with garlic sauce - really great. The shrimp are cooked to chewiness - not in a bad way, in a flavor-intensification way. Again, the intense garlic sauce, which has been cooked with the onions until the onions have absorbed the juice and is almost unbearably singing high. I'm tired and near nonsensical. I hope this makes sense.
Platanos (ripe fried plaintains) - pretty good, though not as intense as I think this can be. A little greasy.
Maduros (fried green plaintains) - the best I've ever had. Just a hint of lovely plantain flavor, on a dense fried hunk of plantain. Hearty as hell.
Croquettes of cheese and ham - hell yeah, a new favorite dish. Nice crunchy outisde, the inside dribbles out in the massive overwhelming flood of extremely cheesy, hammy goodness. This is not subtle. This is not in the same continent as subtle.
Fun fries too. No flavor, pure crunchiness. Very enjoyable.
Guanabana shake was tasty, but the Mamaey shake (?) with a sort of strawberry/avocadoey fruit(?) was exceedingly happy. Yeah.
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