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6101 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038


LUNCH:   Mon-Fri 11:30am - 3pm
DINNER: Mon-Thurs 5pm - 10pm
Fri-Sat 5pm - 11pm
Closed Sunday


News & Events

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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About Xiomara

Xiomara bar and restaurant first floor viewed from second floor balconyXiomara Ardolina, executive chef and owner of Xiomara on MelroseSince 1979, Xiomara Ardolina has been among the most successful fine dining restaurateurs in Los Angeles, starting with The Epicurean (La Canada) in 1979, Xiomara Restaurant (Old Pasadena) in 1991 and Xiomara on Melrose (West Hollywood) in 2002. All were known for their charming, ambiance and flavorful food, and consistently received acclaim from critics Irene Virbila (Los Angeles Times), Ruth Reichl and Bryan Miller (New York Times), Jonathan Gold (Los Angeles Magazine) and Merrill Shindler (Pasadena Star).

Always daring and willing to take a risk, in 1996 Xiomara made the dramatic change from her French-style bistro menu to a Nuevo Latino cuisine that reflected her Cuban heritage. Infused with Asian, Spanish and Mediterrean flavors and prepared using French technique, her food received national recognition, and, along with famed chef Douglas Rodriguez in New York, she was credited with elevating Latin style cooking to the level of fine dining

Xiomara Ardolina, Owner and Executive Chef of Xiomara on MelroseXiomara Ardolina is proud of contributing to and shaping the rich and diverse landscape of restaurants in the Los Angeles area, but even more proud that she has achieved success on her own.  She has never relied on investors to provide financial backing and has always been the sole proprietor and executive chef, just as she is today.
Sweet Potato Croquettes with chili-coconut sauce
Sweet Potato Croquettes with chili-coconut sauce

In 2002, Xiomara opened Xiomara on Melrose and continued featuring Nuevo Latino cuisine. However, in 2010 she moved more toward California cuisine as farmers’ markets made fresh produce readily available and the public became more knowledgeable about food production. Chefs were also becoming more creative, experimenting with the fusion of flavors and styles of cooking. Even as she experimented with California cuisine, she continued to offer traditional Cuban dishes at the request of her many loyal customers. More recently, she made the decision to focus primarily more on the Cuban and Latin dishes as Modern Cuban Cuisine.

Greetings & Welcome!

Xiomara on Melrose is a beautiful, fine dining restaurant serving Modern Cuban Cuisine. A neighborhood favorite, we’re conveniently located near Hancock Park, Larchmont, West Hollywood and Hollywood (get directions).

When I opened Xiomara on Melrose in 2002, my menu offered Nuevo Latino cuisine and included many traditional Cuban dishes that were popular at my Pasadena restaurant. Now, my menu is Modern Cuban Cuisine and incorporates the food cultures of old Cuba that were primarily shaped by the Chinese and Spanish who settled there. Today, with creativity in our kitchen and the availability of a variety of herbs, spices and fresh local produce, our traditional Cuban dishes are prepared using contemporary recipes and original ethnic flavors. Our menu items include paella, churrasco, ceviche, fried rice, charcuterie, pork hash, tamal, sea bass and, of course, the Cuban sandwich and black bean soup. All are prepared and presented in the style of Modern Cuban Cuisine.

While my restaurants have been reviewed by the New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Pasadena Star, Jonathan Gold and Ruth Reichl, it was the 2010 review by Los Angeles Times food critic Irene Vrbila who offered this honest appraisal of Xiomara on Melrose: 

“Underneath it all is something ineffably Cuban, which comes out in the warm service, that buttery bread and at lunch the Cubano sandwich upgraded with Black Forest ham, slow-roasted pork and Swiss cheese.”

Xiomara on Melrose offers intimate dining, a charming Old Havana setting and cool jazzy background music. And yes, my famous Mojito is still my signature drink. I invite you to stop by, have a Mojito and enjoy lunch or dinner. We also offer a special bar menu from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Xiomara Ardolina
Owner and Executive Chef