So I heard that the Tiger Lily over went a transformation seemingly overnight into a new Cuban spot a month or so ago. Literally, over night… one week I was there, the next week I heard it was a Cuban joint. I highly doubted that I would find good Cuban food at a place with 5 words in its title. Sounds like it’s got an identity problem. Are you Cuban or Latin? A cafe or bar?
And its menu suggests it is both, and so does the overall vibe. They didn’t do much to change it from Tiger Lily, or not much that I can tell. It’s still an open space situated around a bar, with a nice outdoor patio.
While the ambiance and the live Cuban music was a plus, the food was just awful. The carnitas taquitos were deep fried wontons filled with a pork mush. The accompanying spicy red chili aioli was too overpowering for the “taquitos”.
My Ropa Viejas was bland and reminded me of my mom’s pot roast. Not that your pot roast was bad mom, but you never called it Ropa Viejas. It was also lukewarm when it arrived. The rice and black beans were pretty bland too. The rice was dry and the texture felt like it had been sitting out for a while. Angela got the Camarones with a creole garlic and hot pepper sauce. It wasn’t creole, nor was it garlicky or spicy.
I don’t have any pictures from that night. My camera battery was dead, but the presentation on the dishes on clear glass plates was just as bland as the food. I doubt I will be returning. Slapping a new sign up and changing the menu does not a Cuban restaurant make
Cuba Libre Latin Cafe Bar
1745 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027