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El Cochinito

3508 W. Sunset Blvd. (Golden Gate Ave.) Send to Phone
Solid Cuban food at a mini-mall in Silver Lake.

Lunch & Dinner daily

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El Cochinito Restaurant Review

: In one of Silver Lake’s yet-ungentrified mini-malls, El Cochinito has been a mainstay for home-style Cuban food since 1988. Sure, local hipsters pepper the dozen simple tables of this cozy storefront, but regulars also include Cuban expats who savor the authentic cuisine of owner (and Havana native) Gladys Gutierrez. They know the real thing when they taste it. Deep flavors of home cooking imbue the restaurant’s most popular specialties: lechon asado (roasted pork) and ropa vieja (shredded stewed beef with tomato). The pork is slowly roasted to yield a flavorful crispy outside and moist, tender inside, served up with yucca and black beans. Tostones, mashed and fried plantains with garlic mojo, are addictive. Weekly specials include paella and arroz con pollo, and though sangría is festive enough, there’s no corkage if you want to bring a nice bottle. The Cubano sandwich of roast pork, ham and pickles on toasty bread makes an ideal lunch, nice to savor over a giant cup of café con leche, listening to the restaurant’s hypnotic playlist of Afro-Cuban jazz. Lingering over a custardy flan can tease the afternoon out even more.
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