Since 1979, Xiomara Ardolina has been among the most successful fine dining restaurateurs in Los Angeles, starting with The Epicurean (La Canada) in 1979, Xiomara Restaurant (Old Pasadena) in 1991 and Xiomara on Melrose (West Hollywood) in 2002. All were known for their charming, ambiance and flavorful food, and consistently received acclaim from critics Irene Virbila (Los Angeles Times), Ruth Reichl and Bryan Miller (New York Times), Jonathan Gold (Los Angeles Magazine) and Merrill Shindler (Pasadena Star).
Always daring and willing to take a risk, in 1996 Xiomara made the dramatic change from her French-style bistro menu to a Nuevo Latino cuisine that reflected her Cuban heritage. Infused with Asian, Spanish and Mediterrean flavors and prepared using French technique, her food received national recognition, and, along with famed chef Douglas Rodriguez in New York, she was credited with elevating Latin style cooking to the level of fine dining
In 2002, Xiomara opened Xiomara on Melrose and continued featuring Nuevo Latino cuisine. However, in 2010 she moved more toward California cuisine as farmers’ markets made fresh produce readily available and the public became more knowledgeable about food production. Chefs were also becoming more creative, experimenting with the fusion of flavors and styles of cooking. Even as she experimented with California cuisine, she continued to offer traditional Cuban dishes at the request of her many loyal customers. More recently, she made the decision to focus primarily more on the Cuban and Latin dishes as Modern Cuban Cuisine.