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Los Angeles Area Cuban

Xiomara on Melrose - from cuban cuisine novice's perspective

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Xiomara on Melrose - from cuban cuisine novice's perspective

Elle Woods | Apr 22, 2004 05:21 PM

After reading mixed reviews about this Cuban-nuevo joint on Chowhound, I decided to finally check this spot out.

One of the common complaints expressed about Xiomara was that service is horrendously slow. Although I went on a Tuesday night and business was slow, I found service to be very attentive. My waitress was young - and not the most knowledgeable server I've ever had - but she was sweet and accommodating.

The ambiance of the place is, as previously noted, very nice.

As for the food, I thought that all in all, everything was very tasty and well presented. It's hard to find a restaurant which performs well through all three courses, imo. Here, I found the appetizers, entrees and desserts to all be good - some better than others, but all good.

My food descriptions will be short. The menu is not online at www.xiomara.com and I can't recall exactly what I had with each dish. So, please forgive me.

For appetizer, we ordered the duck. Underneath were cornbread and some sort of crispy potato, surrounded by a sweet, yet tangy sauce. Delicious.

We ordered three 1/2 sized entrees. I think that two would have been perfect as the portions are very large. Or three entrees, with one dessert may have been a good alternative (this was a dinner for two).
Chilean Seabass. Good dish, but not mind-blowing. The fish was cooked just right (I hate overcooked fish). It was seasoned on one-side.
Shredded Pork. Although this is one of their "signature" dishes, I can't recall any of the details. However, I do remember liking it very, very much.
Skirt Steak. This was a thinly cut skirt steak with mash potatoes blended with blue cheese. While I'm not normally a red meat eater, the skirt steak was very tender and well seasoned. I was also pleasantly surprised with the mashed potatoes which had a hint of blue cheese. I was afraid that the cheese would overwhelm it. Luckily it didn't.

The desserts were probably the weakest part of the dinner. They paled in comparison to the savory plates. The tres leches cake was better than the chocolate bread pudding souffle, which turned out to be heavy and very sweet. The tres leches cake was interesting ... I feel as though I can't really adequately critique it since I've never had it before. E.g., I was unaccustomed to the texture, which was oatmeal-like. However, it was soaked in a nice, creamy sauce and was accompanied with a scoop of dulce de leche (?) ice-cream. Not bad.

All this plus one mojito and key lime martini = $96 w/o tip. Overall, I would definitely recommend this place.

Link: http://www.xiomararestaurant.com

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