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Xiomara bar and dining room

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nyt-logoThe Ultimate Cuban Comfort Food: Picadillo

NY Times article, Johnny Miller

Here is one of the great dishes of the Cuban diaspora: picadillo, a soft, fragrant stew of ground beef and tomatoes, with raisins added for sweetness and olives for salt. Picadillo roughly translates from the Spanish as mince. The dish bears some resemblance to American sloppy joes, or to hash.

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nprBeyond Black Beans And Rice: Cuban Chefs Go Modern

NPR,  Eliza Barklay

Ham sandwiches, hot-pressed and gooey with cheese. Neat piles of black beans and rice. Grilled chicken. This is the simple, filling fare served at Cuban restaurants around the world. And like the iconic, rusty Studebakers that line the streets of Havana, Cuban food hasn't changed much since the 1950's.  But that, according to some chefs, is starting to change. This month, I got a taste of some of the most innovative cooking in Cuba. Luckily, I didn't have to fly to Cuba to try it.

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tbo-logoCookbook shows off modern Cuban cuisine

Tampa Tribune, Jeff Houck

While running her family's Miami book store, Roque worried that second- and third-generation Cuban-Americans, many of whom aren't Spanish speakers, would lose their link to the traditional flavors and techniques she learned from watching her mother and aunts in the kitchen, "The recipes were not recorded," she said. "We were about to lose them if someone didn't sit down and record them."

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LATimesFirst Bite – Gastropub Sans the Pub, or Xiomara Reconsidered

by Jonathan Gold

"Xiomara shed its accent and turned into a California bistro, a bit less sleek this time, but also grounded in modern French cooking and geared toward small plates.

"The dishes ... are congruent with the farmers-market-tinged cooking you find at places like Lazy Ox and the Yard, things like pork-stuffed squid with shell beans in a garlicky romesco sauce; crisp pork belly with sunchokes and a smoky-charred eggplant puree that makes the concoction taste like bacon; and lamb ribs with pickled green beans.

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Venice Magazine / LA Dine-N-Club

by Jose Martinez

"The Potato Croquettes are divine little fried balls of sweet potato served with a savory chili-coconut sauce that is just perfect to dip your bread into to help clean your plate. Meanwhile the hearty Truffle Risotto with sautéed rock shrimp and the juicy Slow Roasted Lamb Riblets should both be entrée items because they’re that good. These were knockout favorites.

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LATimesXiomara Shifts from Cuban to Budget-Friendly California Cuisine

by S. Irene Virbila

"Meat-happy carnivores are going to go for the lamb riblets, slow-roasted so they’re all crunch with a sticky sweet sauce cooked deep into the meat. Crispy pork belly will appeal too, its richness nicely set off by roasted Jerusalem artichoke and a smoky pureed eggplant.

"Mains are more straight-forward, but thoughtful accompaniments are a bonus. With seared scallops, heirloom beans (are served) in their cooking juices. This combination somehow makes sense: earth and sea. Moist pan-roasted chicken breast comes with a late summer succotash and chanterelle mushrooms.

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