Review: Cuban restaurant satisfying - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Review: Cuban restaurant satisfying

La Cocina Cubana

La Cocina Cubana is located at 123 S. Washington Square in downtown Lansing.  Photo from restaurant website

Jake Leslie

Four out of Five Stars

By Jake Leslie
Photo Editor

Cuban Cuisine is a unique amalgamation of many global cultures. While it is mostly of Spanish origin, the food of this Caribbean island also has influence from Africa and Italy. Even the Chinese have contributed to Cuban flavors.

As someone who enjoys experimenting with new restaurants and cooking styles, I was intrigued when I saw La Cocina Cubana at the corner of Washington Square and Allegan Street in downtown Lansing. I walked in and was greeted with a pair of big smiles, and some excellent smells.

My first time there, not knowing what to get and being overwhelmed by all the options before me, I decided on the traditional Cuban sandwich. The bun was a beautiful golden brown, the ham was nice and hot, and the chipotle-style mayo was terrifically citrusy.

My second visit was even better. I ordered a dish called “old clothes,” which may not sound extremely appetizing, but I assure you it is.

The rice and beans were the first side, which were wonderfully seasoned. You can’t go wrong with rice and beans, in my opinion. The next side were the sweet plantains. I really loved these, they were subtly sweet with some salty seasoning, a timeless combination.

The main dish stole the show. The name “old clothes’ comes from the tattered appearance of the shredded beef. It was exceptionally tender, and the peppers and onions gave it great flavorful depth.

I’m surprised I haven’t seen La Cocina Cubana busier, it was relatively empty both times I was there, but that is no indication of the quality of their food. I recommend everyone check it out!

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