Havana Grill (Clairmont Mesa)

Tried Havana Grill today, a newish Cuban restaurant in the spot formerly occupied by Casa Medina, that travesty of a restaurant that couldn’t die a fast enough death.

Anyway, back to Havana Grill. They make a pretty good lechón sandwich, with nice tender and flavorful roast pork shoulder, topped with caramelized onions and some very tangy aioli. For $9, this is pretty good option.

Also tried the papas rellenas, which if you’re a Cuban food n00b like myself, is essentially a turducken masquerading as a croquette. What do I mean, you say? I mean it’s a breaded, deep-fried mash potato ball. Big deal, right? What’s so turducken about that, right? Well, this breaded, deep-fried mash potato ball is stuffed with a meatball (or ground beef, but who’s keeping track).

Washed all of it down with a Malta Hatuey, which I am told is an unfermented malt drink. It’s an acquired test, definitely. Acquired in the same way one can easily acquire a Unicorn for sale.

Havana Grill
5450 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
(858) 430 6878

Almost sounds like the Miami Grille reborn.