(I went to the one on Venice Blvd.)
Versailles...you taunt me with your colorful sign...welcoming me to come inside...
Versailles is quintessential LA. I had been to no other Cuban restaurant until coming to live in LA - when I thought Cuban food I thought...uh...an offshoot of Mexican food? I could not have been further away from the truth! One step inside this bustling restaurant and you're instantly greeted by a server...there are many waiters there, all seasoned men usually. It almost feels like they just happen to hang out there instead of work there...which I think is really cool. I've never waited more than 5 minutes for a table. Seated immediately, the weathered laminated menu boasts a dizzying number of items to order. Another waiter comes over with a fresh basket of toasty bread slices - they are already buttered and garlicy tasting. So delicious.
I don't even know why I bother looking at the menu - I have only ever ordered 2 things from here - and am so pleased with my order I never think about trying anything else.
I usually order the #6 - Famoso Pollo Versailles - Versailles Famous Garlic Chicken
OUR FAMOUS HOUSE SPECIALTY - JUICY ROASTED HALF CHICKEN MARINATED IN OUR DELICIOUS GARLIC SAUCE GARNISHED WITH SLICED WHITE ONIONS.
The chicken never fails to disappoint. It's good and spit roasted, with a good skin. The meat is juicy, and it takes all your willpower not to tear into it with your hands, a-la-Medieval Times (which I've never been to...a future food review perhaps?) The chicken is covered in a tangy garlic sauce. If you're not used to this garlic sauce, it will give you a kick in your pants. It's almost enough tanginess to give you puckery lips, but the garlic taste always mellows you out at the end of the bite. The white onion slices also add to the appeal of this dish - they garnish the chicken almost completely uncooked. Normally I'm not the hugest fan of raw onion, but the with the garlic sauce and the chicken - it's a necessity.
The meal comes with fried sweet plantains, rice and beans.
The time in which I ordered the food to when I received the food to my table was like 5 minutes. This place is FAST. One time, we asked one of the waiters how long he'd be working at Versailles. I think he said over 25 years...that's some history!
If you've never been here before, then do yourself a favor and go. Prices are reasonable, service is lightening fast and you'll have food for 2 meals - unless you're really starving.
(by the way, the other thing I've ordered here is the #14 Rabo Encendido - Oxtail Stew
A CREOLE BASED STEW WITH A SHARP PEPPERY TASTE, COOKED WITH TRADITIONAL CUBAN HERBS AND SPICES, OLIVE OIL, AND BELL PEPPERS.
That was very delicious as well. But that will be another review!)