The Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood is known for its sleekness, especially its ultra-stylish Skybar. What else would you expect from Sunset Boulevard? And its Asia de Cuba, a Philippe Starck-designed Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, is no exception. But this sleek eatery isn’t just all style; there’s substance behind that pretty face.
Asia de Cuba has always been a destination restaurant, but with a new cocktail menu and a revamped dinner menu by Chef Troy N. Thompson, there’s even more reason to visit.
The menu offers a bevy of shareable plates, including a host of ceviches such as wild salmon with salted avocado ice cream, spicy coconut milk, bird’s eye pepper and black lava salt, as well as shrimp and snapper with watermelon confit, Vietnamese red chili, garlic, jalapeño and shaved coconut. The Tunapica, a tuna tartare dish served picadillo style on stacked wonton crisps with Spanish olives, black currants, almonds, coconut and a soy-lime vinaigrette, is a nice twist on the usual tuna tartare and shares well. Other standouts include the pan-seared jumbo sea scallops, which come with plantains and habañero corn crema (I personally like the plantains and scallops better separately); the calamari salad with crispy squid, chayote, hearts of palm, banana, cashews, chicory, radicchio and sesame orange dressing; and the braised oxtail and kimchi steamed dumplings with spiced calabaza threads and mango ponzu.
The new cocktail menu also includes drinks made for sharing, including those for two and punches for the whole table. The guava punch, though on the sweet side, is a good choice with white rum, dark rum, Crème de Peche, fresh lime and guava juice. Watch out for the made-for-two Cuban Missile, a potent concoction of brown rum, aged rum, white rum, honey rum, Cherry Heering, Angostura bitters, orange juice and lemon juice.
If you’re looking for a dependable drink, go with a classic mojito, which is well-balanced here with lots of lime and little syrup. If you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous, try the Hemingway Thyme with aged rum, fresh lime, maraschino, cane syrup, grapefruit twist and thyme foam, or the Chili Passion Caipirinha with cachaça spirits, muddled lime, raw sugar, passion fruit purée and a of dash Sriracha.
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Note: This meal was hosted.