Son Cubano

Lechón asada
Photo by CandaceWest.com
Like so many Cuban places across Miami, Son Cubano tries to replicate a jubilant Havana night. Sometime around 10 p.m., the fedora-wearing trumpet player inside the Coral Gables restaurant Son Cubano decides he's had enough of slow-paced melodies and jumps into some driving salsa. Soon a dozen guayabera- and pantsuit-clad diners are on their feet and shaking their hips. It doesn't take long before there's a conga line, led by one woman who's taken the musician's maraca as her own. The menu, however, is anything but classic Cuban. There are Wagyu picadillo-filled dumplings crisped on one side like gyoza, as well as meaty Prince Edward Island mussels in a savory black-bean broth akin to Chinese stir-fry. Croquetas de malanga offer a nice spin on this sometimes bland standby via an infusion of black garlic that provides a hint of earthy spice. It's matched with a pungent curry aioli. The flan is ingeniously spiked with the fermented soybean paste called miso. But if you want an old standby, the lechón asado — a Paleolithic-looking hunk of meat roasted until fork-tender and boasting bronze skin that has been pulled back to reveal a stub of bone — will never do you wrong.

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