Where to find authentic comida Cubana
Roberto Llama sneaked onto a boat to escape Cuba in 2009.
After becoming a waiter in New York City, he met his wife, Yaimelys Feria, also a Cuban national.
The couple saved their pennies for years working in restaurants until embarking on their ultimate American dream this year.
Roberto and Yaimelys, both 34 and the parents of four children, opened Little Havana restaurant on Willomet at West Davis in January.
“This is her dream,” Roberto says of his wife. “Most of the recipes here come from her kitchen.”
The restaurant serves breakfast plates with cafecitos as well as a full menu of sandwiches. Entrees such as ropa vieja and whole snapper are served with black beans and rice, and the portions are big enough for two people.
“Everything here is authentic,” Roberto says. “It’s the way you have it in Cuba.”
The two-story building previously housed a couple of failed concepts. But it spoke to Llama and Feria because in Cuba it is traditional for families to open their homes as restaurants, which are known as paladares.
The restaurant also has a full bar and cocktail menu, plus they sell cigars.
Roberto says he and his wife are proud to be from Cuba, but they couldn’t care less about returning to their homeland.
“We took the opportunity, and look at us right now. We have a restaurant,” he says. “This never would’ve happened in Cuba.”
Did you know: Little Havana has a wraparound second-story dining patio.
Atmosphere: Island vibes
Price range: $8-$24
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday
607 N. Willomet Ave.