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Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Cuban sandwich at Division 3, Hollywood
Joshua Lurie

10 Supremely Delicious Cuban Sandwiches to Try in Los Angeles

Eat like a 19th century cigar factory worker

The Cubano, a sandwich supposedly created in the late 1800s to feed cigar factory workers (often Cuban) in Tampa, has become a regional culinary juggernaut. The sandwich can now be found across the U.S. and typically combines the pleasures of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on a pressed roll. Occasionally, you’ll even find classic Genoa salami. Those bygone factory workers would probably recognize many of L.A.'s best Cubanos, which are fairly textbook, but some stray from tradition. Find 10 of the city's most compelling versions that span the spectrum.

A Cut Above Butcher Shop, Santa Monica

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Get a Cuban sandwich fix at Eddy Shin’s nose-to-tail butcher shop.
Joshua Lurie

A Cut Above, Eddy Shin’s whole animal butcher shop in Santa Monica, has utilized pasture-raised, nose-to-tail meats since 2013. Many cuts find their way from the display case into sandwiches and butcher’s specials like the Cubano ($12.75). Juicy shavings of slow-roasted Kurobuta pork shoulder join Nueske ham, dill pickles, jalapeños, sweet caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, cilantro, and Dijon mustard on a chewy eight-inch ca’ d’Oro Bakery baguette. 2453 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-998-8500, www.acabutchershop.com

Beer Belly, Long Beach

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Beer Belly dials up the comfort with their Cuban.
Joshua Lurie

Jimmy Han and wife Yume expanded their considerable craft beer prowess and chef Wes Lieberher’s twisted comfort food from K-Town to a prime Long Beach corner. Edison bulbs light their devastating fried chicken Cuban ($14.50) that teams pounded, Cuban-spiced fried chicken breast with spicy chili-braised ham hock, tangy whole-grain apple beer mustard, house pickled jalapeño, and Swiss cheese on a sturdy sesame baguette. 255 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, 562-436-2337, www.beerbellyla.com

Crispy Cuban, Around Town

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Crispy Cuban serves some of L.A.’s tastiest sandwiches on four wheels.
Joshua Lurie

Cuban-American father Perry Santos and son Joe rove the road in a retired trolley, selling several takes on the Cuban sandwich. Their signature Crispy Cuban ($9.50) stacks slow-roasted pork, house-cured ham, Swiss cheese, thin-sliced dill pickle, and mustard butter on a crispy, hot-pressed Cuban baguette that’s cut vertically. The Tampa Cuban adds Genoa salami. The Midnight Cuban comes on a sweet Cuban roll, just like the Cuban’s cousin, the medianoche. The Juban adds pastrami and pineapple coleslaw. Con Culo! is a larger take on The Juban. 213-271-9381, www.crispycuban.com

Division 3, Hollywood

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Division 3 added a Cubano to their Hollywood spinoff.
Joshua Lurie

Chef Matt Dickson expands his repertoire well beyond biscuit sandwiches at Division 3 Hollywood, a larger outpost that builds on Glassell Park success. Slide into a two-top or grab a counter seat and snag a well-balanced pork belly Cubano ($10). A meaty roasted pork belly slab anchors a sandwich that co-stars ham, melted Jack cheese, pickles, mayo, and mustard on six-inch Brazilian roll, basically a white bread French roll. 5907 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-745-0007, www.division3eats.com

The Front Yard, North Hollywood

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
The Front Yard proves hotel dining doesn’t need to be dainty.
Joshua Lurie

The Front Yard is the modern restaurant at The Garland, a North Hollywood hotel named for actress Beverly Garland that’s within walking distance of Universal City. The indoor-outdoor space is home to El Cubano ($13), stack of hickory-smoked pork shoulder, crispy Serrano ham, thick Swiss, and house pickles on a pressed baguette. 4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, 818-255-7290, www.thefrontyardla.com

Porto's Bakery & Café, Various Locations

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Porto’s has made Cuban sandwiches for decades.
Joshua Lurie

The legendary Porto family’s oldest existing location has been a Glendale mainstay since 1982. Stanchions help maintain order for customers who flood twin dining rooms and a sea of tables. Their simple, but effective Cuban sandwich ($6.15) involves roast pork, ham, pickles, Cuban “dressing” and Swiss cheese on an airy, crackly crusted house-baked roll. Pro tip: If you don’t want to order any pastries or potato balls, it’s possible to access the express line, which speeds up sandwich consumption. 315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818-956-5996, www.portosbakery.com

Punto Cubano, San Pedro

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Crush a hearty Cuban sandwich by the Port of L.A.
Joshua Lurie

Punto Cubano, a brick-fronted cafe in downtown San Pedro, features Cuban photos on canary yellow walls and Grandma Victoria’s recipes for “comida al estilo casero” (home-style food). Sandwich Cubano ($7.99) arrives on a buttery toasted roll with pork, ham, Swiss, pickles, and mustard that’s cut on the bias and comes with a pile of French fries. 309 W. 7th St., San Pedro, 424-477-5813

Sack Sandwiches, Melrose Ave

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Taste Michael Voltaggio’s Cuban sandwich on Melrose.
Joshua Lurie

Michael Voltaggio rebranded ink. sack as Sack Sandwiches. Now his stylish Melrose sandwich shop features white cartoon icons on black walls and an LED menu with a wide variety of ingredients served between bread. Their Cuban ($7.25) is a compact combo of pork shoulder, ham, Swiss, pickles, yellow mustard, and mayo on a roll with light crust. 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-655-7225, www.sacksandwiches.com

The San Fernando, Glendale

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Score The San Fernando’s Cuban by the train tracks.
Joshua Lurie

The San Fernando proves that the other side of the tracks can be positive. Daniel Espinosa, Uwe Korak, and Scott Gonnering teamed on a nouveau retro bar just over the tracks in Glendale. Look for the gold penguin logo to find a rich Cubano sandwich ($12) that stars slow-roasted pork belly, Gruyere cheese, mustard, house-made dill pickles, and prosciutto shaved from a whole leg. The vessel is a buttered, lightly toasted French baguette from nearby Village Bakery. Each sandwich comes with a salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette and punchy pickled daikon. 5230 San Fernando Rd., Glendale, 818-244-6442, www.thesanfernando.com

Tabula Rasa Bar, Thai Town

Cuban Sandwich Los Angeles
Find one of L.A.’s best Cuban sandwiches in Thai Town.
Joshua Lurie

Tabula Rasa, a wine bar from Zach Negin and Daniel Flores, is part of Thai Town’s new wave. Their welcoming confines include exposed brick and concrete and soft cushioned banquettes. Negin’s father is from Tampa, still home to a sizable Cuban population, and he honors them with a Cuban sandwich ($9). This small sandwich packs big flavor thanks to ham, roast pork, his garlic champagne mustard, mom’s spicy pickles, and Estero Gold cheese, a domestic Swiss cheese equivalent from Valley Ford in Sonoma. The package comes on a pressed bolillo from an Oaxacan bakery in nearby east Hollywood. Flores suggests pairing this sandwich with a glass of sparkling Sangiovese rosé. 5125 Hollywood Blvd., Thai Town, 213-290-6309, www.tabularasabar.com

The San Fernando

5230 San Fernando Road, , CA 91203 (818) 244-6442 Visit Website

Division 3

3329 Division Street, , CA 90065 (323) 987-0500 Visit Website

Olea. Cellar,Craft,Cook

2001 Westcliff Drive, , CA 92660 (949) 287-6807 Visit Website

Flores

2024 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (424) 273-6469

Beer Belly

532 South Western Avenue, , CA 90020 (213) 387-2337 Visit Website

Tabula Rasa

5125 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

ink.

8360 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069 323-651-5866

Sack Sandwiches

8360 Melrose Avenue, , CA 90069 (323) 655-7225 Visit Website

Sandwich Shop

531 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (213) 627-1508 Visit Website

The Front Yard

4222 Vineland Avenue, , CA 91602 (818) 255-7290 Visit Website

The Garland

4222 Vineland Avenue, , CA 91602 (818) 980-8000 Visit Website
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