Culver City: Checking out Cuban Food at El Rincon Criollo

guanabana shake

guanabana shake

I’ve been having an island adventure starting recently with a stop to Old San Juan in Atwater Village for Puerto Rican food. This week, I hopped over to El Rincon Criollo (which means the Creole Corner) for Cuban food.

croquettas

croquettas

We started off with a couple of croquettas which were all right. Although fried well, I didn’t think they had much flavor despite being essentially mushy ham fingers (think fish fingers but ham). There was a garlic dipping sauce that oddly wasn’t that garlic-y. It was meant more for the fried plantain chips anyway.

yucca with garlic sauce

yucca with garlic sauce

Next we also had yucca with the same garlic sauce. These were a bit boring. Maybe we should have gotten the fried yucca.

lechon sandwich

lechon sandwich

My friend opted to get the lechon (pork) sandwich after consulting with the server. She was originally think of the boliche, a round steak stuffed with chorizo. I’m glad she got the sandwich, it was a great bite.

sopa de mariscos

sopa de mariscos

I probably should have gotten the pork and chicken combo, just to compare to the famous Cuban place up the street (and around the corner) but I had an hankering for soup. Later I found out seafood soup is apparently not a specialty. The broth was definitely on the thinner side and though there was plenty of seafood, it all seemed a bit boney. I ate all the clams and fish and decided to take the rest home when I had more time to crack shells. I generally don’t mind going full steam on a big ass bowl of seafood but I didn’t want to put in the work this evening.

tres leches cake

tres leches cake

We ended with a slice of tres leches cake. Although a bit dry and oddly crumbly, it saved the night for me. El Rincon Criollo is located in a sleepy part of Culver City. The colorful artwork fills the walls and there seems to be a few die-hard regulars. But I can’t say I really enjoyed my meal. I may have ordered wrong though. My favorite things were the guanabana shake and the dessert and those two things won’t bring me back. Well, maybe another shot at the lechon.

Considering my last two stops of my island adventure being so unfulfilling, I’m off to Mofongos in North Hollywood next week. I hope all my pork and seafood dreams will be fulfilled. If not, then I’m off to Orlando and Miami at the end of the month where I hope to find some great Cuban food in North Cuba (aka Miami).

El Rincon Criollo

4361 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230  —  (310) 391-4478
 
© The Minty 2013