Cuban herbs and citrus juices marinate slow-roasted pork, one of the many traditional Cuban dishes found on the menu at Habana Cuba. The cooks also fry omelets filled with plantains or potatoes, stuff avocados with marinated shrimp, and craft gluten-free items such as rib eye topped with onions. Bartenders complement meals with specialty cocktails, beers from all over the world, and imported coconut sodas made from the liquid that coconuts naturally excrete when placed next to a shipwreck survivor. Feasts unfold on Habana Cuba’s dog-friendly outdoor patio or within its two-level restaurant, which hosts private sit-down dinners for up to 70 guests.
Slow-Cooked Cuban Cuisine | Acclaimed Oxtail | Pitchers of Sangria | Brazilian Influences | Outdoor Patio
When to Go: Head here during lunchtime, when the restaurant buzzes with energy and popular dishes, such as the roast pork and shredded beef, are served at a discounted rate.
The Chef: Los Cubanos Restaurant is not only Alcides Calvo's 17th restaurant, but it's also the passion project that pulled him out of retirement. Calvo opened his first eatery in Cuba at the age of 17. When he immigrated to the United States in 1970, he brought his native flavors with him, opening Cuban restaurants in LA and then San Jose.
While You're Waiting
Inside Tip: Although meat is certainly the star at Los Cubanos Restaurant, vegetarian options do exist. The vegetarian tamale, for instance, stuffs steamed veggies and yucca into a corn shell.
While You're in the Neighborhood: After your lunch or dinner, sip a microbrewed pilsner at Los Gatos Brewing Co. (163 W. Santa Clara Street)
There's no tropical kitsch to be found in Habanas Cuban Cuisine's lovely, loungey corner space, but as Alameda magazine? wrote, it's still "the closest you?ll get to Cuba in Alameda for sure." That's due to a friendly, laid-back atmosphere and a menu of tapas and entrees that ranges from simple standards such as twice-fried plantains with pineapple salsa to a sugarcane-glazed pork chop with rum chutney.?You'll find the classic Cuban sandwich (ham, roast pork, swiss) at lunch, and there's even a brunch menu with inventive dishes such as a Cuban-style french toast with bread dipped in Cointreau, cream, and cinnamon. Fifteen equally creative mojitos are available by the glass or pitcher.