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“Give me tostones”
Review of Mambo's Cafe

Mambo's Cafe
Ranked #21 of 462 Restaurants in Glendale
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: Cuban
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
pasadena
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Give me tostones”
Reviewed 7 May 2013

Walking into this unassuming little restaurant you are greeted by "hola" "welcome, take a seat anywhere". We've all heard that before and assume that this is another little cafe, with mediocre food. Well, get your tastebuds ready for authentic Cuban Cuisine. Mambo's does not disappoint.
We ordered the Shrimp in tostones as an appetiser and were pleasantly surprised with the blend of firm tostone and the crunchy pieces of shrimp mixed with what appears to be pico de gallo.
Next we ordered the Mambo Pork dish for Hubby who stopped talking and just ate. I personally do not eat pork and thus ordered the Mambo Steak meal.
Cuban's know no limit to graciousness and feeding folk. Besides the steak and tostones the meal comes with rice and succulent black beans, a staple in Cuban.
We love you Mambos.... you guys rock !

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank msla_drsonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    24
    4
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Glendale, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good place for a good meal”
Reviewed 13 April 2013

The ambiance isn't the best, but once you get a drink (nice bar) and the meals start arriving, you will be glad you chose the place. The chicken was quite delicious, the tuna salad (lunchtime) was really good, and the portions are generous. The plantains are really tasty. We'll be going back!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Frances M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Scarface would have eaten here.”
Reviewed 25 March 2013

A little taste of Havana in the Valley. This gem is hidden in the valley. Tucked in the middle of an intersection in a very quiet neighborhood. Seating accomdation are very adequate with outdoor dining area. The interior is cozy but a little too dark for my taste. Nice Cuban music plays on the background! Best part is : it isn't too loud to overtake any conversation. Menu is extensive. Price is very reasonable. Ordered the Roast pork and the steak. Food was fresh, and plentiful. The rice had a very nice subtle flavor. Did not see anything bad on anything, exept for the exterior parking. About 20 spaces that fills very quickly. Service was exceptional, very very attentive! Wish I had this service everywhere. Will definitely be back.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Quoizimodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
291 reviews
138 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Good Eats”
Reviewed 15 March 2013

Stopped in here to try out a DDD spot and glad we did. It was after a day at Universal Studios and we were pooped out. We opened up with a pitcher of sangria-mmm mmm. We ordered cuban, chicken, and steak sandwiches and a side order of Papa Rellena. The place wasnt anything fancy and the bathrooms were located out of the restaurant but that didnt effect the great food and service. Would go again.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank roadtripperAmerica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pasadena
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Feel like I've been to Cuba”
Reviewed 25 February 2013

My first experience with Cuban food came while living in the Florida Keys. There the mix of cultures comes together and on wonderfully, warm, inviting nights, you go to a local cafe and eat, authentic pulled pork, or a cuban sandwitch with "agua fresca".

Moving to California in 1988, we felt a sense of loss as we didn't know where we were going to find the savory wonderfulness that is part and parcle of the Cuban culture. Then we discovered MAMBOs Cafe !

The location does not do this business justice. The parking is small, the entrance would scare the bravest of us away. Once inside however, watch out ! Cuba is alive and well in the friendly, exception service that every employee carries. Visit more than once and the staff will likely know your name. If you arrive a little early, so what ! Everyone is welcome. My husband and I usually arrive 15 minutes before opening. Do they turn us away? No. "Come in, come in friend", you are likely to hear from the owner. A friendly hello from the staff, "Grab any seat. We missed you last week".

Paper placemats on plastic covered black tables. Who cares ! You are not there to eat the tables. Start your meal with a most pleasing appetizer of shrimp on tostones. Garnished with onions, tomatoes and cilantro, this dish is sure to get your mouth watering. I personally order the sirloin steak with rice and black beans. Pour the beans on the rice and you are ready. I have found that you will need to remind them that you do not want the steak overly done. This is NOT, i repeat NOT because they forget to take it off the stove, but rather, in the caribbean, the steak is usually eaten well done.

ONce you have finished your meal, take your time, you are NEVER rushed. Order an expresso or maybe a flan to top it off. YOu will be glad you did.

We have been frequenting Mambos for years. With very few exceptions, the pork ordered by my husband might be a little drier than preferred, the consistency of the food is very good.

I gave this restaurant a very good rating not because of the location, but rather the authentic food and ambiance of the experience. Thanks Mambo. Keep up the good work !

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank msla_drsonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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