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Restaurants & Bars 4

El Criollo in Van Nuys

TomSwift | Mar 22, 200603:59 PM

Inspired by the post by the ol' Ubergeek, I did a search of the board and found some pretty flattering posts about this place at the northeast corner of Victory and Fulton. So I copied a couple and, thusly armed, went there for lunch today. Note: They open at noon. They were still closed when we got there and for about 30 minutes we were the only people there. Then the place filled up rapidly.

The husband/owner is the host/waiter and his wife does the cooking. When I ordered the Ropa Vieja the waiter (William) exclaimed that it was his favorite. This was really delicious shredded beef in a tomato-based braising broth with onions and bell peppeers, served with excellent white rice. I was fearful that the meat would be fatty, and the broth greasy, but neither was. $10.95. With the iced tea came lemons from the owner's yard and they were great, very sweet. He have us a half dozen to take home. As we left I gave him the posts from the board and he read them with interest then went into the kitchen, presumably to show his wife. She stuck her head out of the kitchen and said hello and seemed embarassed when we told her how good her food was. She simply said that she cooks here like she does at her house. IMO this is superior to Versailles.

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