La Bodeguita Del Medio
465 South California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Why did we dine here? – La Bodeguita Del Medio is a popular Cuban restaurant in Palo Alto. We have been meaning to dine here for dinner for quite a while. One of us recently visited Cuba, so we had a valid excuse to kindle some memories. The place is pretty busy, so you need to reserve in advance.
Insider Tip – Reserve ahead. Eat Family style.
Cuisine – Cuban
Location – Palo Alto California Ave
Opened – 1997
Service – La Bodeguita Del Medio had decent friendly service. We did have to hail people several times toward the middle of the meal.
Verdict – La Bodeguita Del Medio is a great place for Cuban food with health portion sizes. Many places like Cha Cha Cha focus on the party aspect and not so much the more substantive dishes. The person who had visited Cuba said the food was definitely not as good as Cuba, so go visit yourself! Our last visit was in July 2020 during the pandemic for take out.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes
- 30 minute? Yes
- 1 Hour? Maybe
La Bodeguita Del Medio Signature Dishes
- Masitas, Ropa Vieja, Tierra Y Mar
La Bodeguita Del Medio’s Menu is pretty wide ranging with several options for vegetarians. A good place to eat family style.
La Bodeguita Del Medio Food Picks:
Mojito ($12.40) was on the sour side. We had to ask for more sugar to calm it down.
Sangria Rose ($13) was strong and a good drink to order here.
Palmitos Salad ($12.80) is a great option for starting or for vegans. Nice candied walnuts.
Masitas ($23) Spicy roasted pork, white rice, black beans, pickled red onions was very meaty. It could have used more rice on the bottom. It was the weakest of our entrees.
Ropa Vieja ($24.80) Shredded skirt steak, chilis, peppers, plantanos maduros, yellow rice, sofrito sauce was excellent. Tender shredded beef in a nice tangy sauce. A must get.
Tierra Y Mar ($28) Marinated skirt steak, coconut crusted shrimp, sofrito mashed potatoes, asparagus, avocado-cilantro pesto is a popular dish. Nice tender steak along with some crispy shrimp. Sort of like a Cuba Surf and Turf. Good ‘mash potatoes’
Shrimp ceviche | ($12) Black beans, habanero, coconut milk, key lime and cilantro – Was spicy, fresh, and a nice balance between heat and coconut milk.
Arroz con pollo | ($22.20) Cuban style braised chicken, platanos, maduros, yellow rice had a huge piece of tender chicken with just enough spice. Excellent plantains.
Masitas Lunch | ($12) Spicy roasted pork shoulder, white rice, black beans, caramelized red onions was also a large portion. Meat falls off the bone, good flavorings.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Caribbean Curry ($26) House-made spicy curry, coconut milk, turmeric, carrots, plantains, yuca, greens, hot peppers, white rice was pretty spicy. We would hesitate to order it next time unless a vegetarian needed it.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?