Cuban restaurants have prospered in our city for more than 20 years. The vast majority serve homestyle cooking. The one restaurant in town that pushes the envelope is MAMBO
where chef-owner Lucy Alvarez began experimenting this year with more rococo interpretations of her native cuisine. Truth be told, we still prefer the standards -- especially the squid cooked in its ink with rice, the masitas de puerco and the fabulous vaca frita -- fried shredded beef that requires a side of yucca drenched in oniony mojo. Black beans and rice are killer, too. Nightly Chino-Latino specials reflect Cuba's indigenous fusion cuisine that developed after Chinese workers invaded the island. Dirt-cheap lunch specials.
1402 N. Highland Ave., 404-876-2626.