Saturday, November 15, 2008

Asia AND Cuba both in West Hollywood? Sign me up!

It felt like a dream, driving through the gigantic doors sculpture at the Mondrian last week. The hotel is surreal, as white as a laundry detergent commercial and just as tranquil. The doors leading out to the dining patio were wide open, allowing a breeze to come through the restaurant. Asia de Cuba had been on my overpriced list for sometime, a place I avoided because of the perceived high cost-benefit ratio. I can't speak for the dinner, but I discovered that a relaxing lunch can be just the calm you need in the middle of Los Angeles.


I started with the black bean and chickpea dumplings in a tomatillo-ginger sauce that tasted vaguely like Indians samosas. I'm not a fan of chickpeas, so maybe the appetizer would have been less lost on someone else. The tempura rock shrimp with black bean aioli, jalepeno aioli and sweet chili sauce were much more delightful. Fried just right, these little morsels had a light tempura coating that worked well with each of the sauces. However, the shrimp themselves were small and didn't taste particularly fresh.

Tempura rock shrimp with three dipping sauces

My entree, as well as the entrees of three of my other coworkers, was the miso cured Alaskan butterfish with black bean edamame salad and tempura shisito peppers. The salad was amusing, the green and black colors playing nicely off each other. Flavorwise, it lacked any strong accents. I would have preferred the shisito peppers fried without the tempura coating. The fish had a sweet miso glaze and was grilled to excellent doneness of barely flaking.

Miso cured Alaskan butterfish

Asia de Cuba exceeded my expectations. I'd come back just for the venue, but the food wasn't a letdown either. The gigantic terra cota flower pots housed miniature trees and created a beautiful outdoor dining terrace. It's worth checking out.

Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian Hotel
8440 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, 90069
(323) 848-6000



Mike said...

A quick perusal of their menu has certainly peaked my interest. I'll have to keep this one on my radar for when I'm in the area. Maybe doing the OpenTable stimulus deal would be a good way to go.

gourmetpigs said...

Asia de Cuba is actually not *that* high in price, because their portions are huge :)

And some items are pretty good - like the braised short ribs, and the whole fried fish with crab sauce.

The desserts should be shared by 4 people >_<

Aaron said...

@Mike It's worth a visit at least for the scenery. My coworker went there with his girlfriend for the Appetite Stimulus and highly enjoyed it.

@burumun I guess you're right since they serve family style for some entrees. Although the appetizers we ordered weren't very large at all. It may not be that expensive for you and me, but consider the places we go often aren't within the average budget