Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Asia De Cuba: Not Asian, Very Californian

I really admire people who can blog once a week. Kudos. My love to eat should match my love to write. Two months to produce a post isn't too bad? Or is it?

Here it is, two months later, my Asia De Cuba review. It will be my first BOB review. BOB stands for Bloggers on a Budget. Asia De Cuba is far from a bargain, but I went during DineLA Week (yes, two months ago, shhhh) and it was a bargain. I tried two appetizers, three entrees and three desserts for $57. Wow! Talk about celeb dining on a pleb budget.

Asia De Cuba is located inside the posh Mondrian Hotel, which is located on the ulta-hip section of Sunset Blvd. It's rumored to be Britney's favorite hotel. Celebrity sightings are common here. The food is okay, it's suppose to be "fusion". It's more about the ambiance than the food. Also, I went during DineLA week, so I'm not going to be too harsh. 3 for the food, 5 for the ambiance, Asia De Cuba gets a solid 4.

Onto the food! Appetizers were the Tunapica, a tuna tartare prepare picadillo style and Lemongrass Skewered Chicken in a coconut chili marinade, served with grilled pineapples and lychees. A+ for presentation (pictured below), the chicken was my favorite dish of the night, very flavorful. Tunapica was nothing special, I've had better tuna tartare elsewhere.

The food got worse from there. I was disappointed with the main courses. First was the best, Miso Cured Alasken Butterfish atop black beans and edamame salad with Tempura shisito pepper (pictured below). The miso cured white fish (in this case, Butterfish) is so overly done, it's not special anymore. I felt I could've found this dish at a dozen other places, just down the street. Edamame does not taste good to me out of the pod. I don't know why, I love picking them from the pod, but they taste like lima beans when served this way.

The next two entrees were utterly forgettable and better versions could be found at Black Angus. They were the Grilled Strip Steak with calabaza melon slaw in citrus ginger soy and Cuban BBQ Chicken, served with coconut sticky rice, tamarind sauce and fruit salsa. Both were bland, both were boring. Chicken was well-cooked but the marinade could've come from a jar, as far as I could tell. Pics are below.

The dinner took an upturn for dessert. Wow. Desserts were fabulous to behold and not bad to taste. My favorite were the Mexican donuts (only because the presentation was beautiful and they came to the table warm) but the Cuban Opera cake and fruit sorbet were good too. Next time, I'll order the appetizers and dessert and just enjoy the ambiance.

Here's the happy group of foodies outside the hotel. :)

Asia de Cuba on Urbanspoon


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