For nearly 30 years, Cuban chef Xiomara Ardolina, known for her restaurants The Epicurean in La Canada (1979), Xiomara Restaurant in Old Pasadena (1991) and Xiomara on Melrose in Hancock Park (2003), has inspired Angelenos with her French style fine dining, Cuban-inspired Nuevo Latino cuisine and most recently her California Cuban menu.
In an industry typically dominated by men, where only an estimated 18 percent of executive chefs are women, and even less for female owners/chefs, fiercely independent Xiomara has achieved her success on her own, never relying on investors to provide financial backing.
Today, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Xiomara will launch a special menu to celebrate her Cuban roots. This menu will feature traditional Cuban dishes including some classics from her past restaurants:
- Nuevo Cubano Salad – Vine ripe tomatoes and avacado, watercress and fresh hearts of palm, in a very cold lime, oregano and fresh heart tomato juice dressing
- Wonton Pork Taquitos with Spicy Chipotle Dip – With a tropical salad of oranges, avocado, sugar snow peas, sweet onion and asparagus
- Cuban Sandwich – Black Forest ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, finished on the flat iron grill
- Seared Pork Hash and Yuca Frita con Mojo y Platanos Maduros – Shredded leg of pork, marinated fried cassava, black bean jus and very ripe plantains
- Spicy Duck Ropa Vieja on a Colombian Arepa and Mojo Tomatoes – Shredded duck, manchego cheese corn cake, marinated Cuban style tomatoes and watercress