Cuban cuisines cures all at Versailles
Versaille’s delicious fried Cuban appetizers include (clockwise from top) the papas rellenas, platanos fritos, empanadas and yucca fries. These dishes are rich and authentic to Cuban cuisine. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES
I could spend an entire article singing the praises of each dish at Versailles, the scrumptious and relaxed Cuban restaurant with three locations across Los Angeles that prepares the food of my dreams. My Cuban cuisine-related dreams, that is.
The article would be long because I ate so many wonderful dishes when I visited the restaurant with several lovely friends, including one from Florida who knew way more about Cuban food than me.
I still was not completely sure what to expect flavor-wise at Versailles, despite my thorough scouring of the menu on their website before visiting the restaurant. One can read that a dish consists of chicken, beans and rice, but that lends no hint toward the flavors or cooking methods of said chicken, beans and rice. I did not fully comprehend papas rellenas, or know how thin or thick the empanada dough would be.
Spoiler alert: papas rellenas consist of fluffy mashed potatoes wrapped around a delicious meat filling, and the empanada crust is thin and bubbly, without being crispy.
All this to say, I am convinced that my pretty explanations of the wonderful food served at Versailles — whether you decide to enjoy it in Culver City, Encino or in Los Angeles on La Cienega Blvd of the I-10 — will not suffice. You simply must go and eat. I should note that I have only eaten at the Culver City location, which another Florida native proclaimed as the best location.
To belabor my point even more, I have put together a menu with a few options to narrow down the ordering process and keep you from handing over your entire wallet in exchange for an endless supply of empanadas, Cubano sandwiches and yucca fries.
The menu offers 18 different meal combinations and is designed assuming you will bring a friend with which to share appetizer and dessert. I warn you now, attempting a three-course meal on your own with Versailles’ generous portions would end in a food coma. If you get your own entree and order one appetizer and one dessert to share with a friend, you will end up with a meal that ranges between $16.50 and $20.50, before tax and tip. Since the appetizer and dessert prices stay the same regardless of the item, it is easy to see which dish causes the variance in price. Skipping an appetizer will drop your bill by $3.25, whereas skipping dessert only saves $2.25 per person. Basically, I am giving you an excuse to enjoy fantastic flan or tres leches cake free from financial guilt.
However you decide to order, please eat and be merry with the various and flavorful foods at Versailles.
Chicken out: Arroz con pollo boasts flavorful chicken atop yellow rice with peas — a Cuban staple. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES