So, I felt a little disloyal going to another Cuban restaurant when I was in the same neighborhood (North Beach) as my absolute favorite (Las Vegas). My uncle John wanted to try it, so he, my dad and I checked it out last night. It's located in the former Panna Cafe space.
After checking some online reviews before heading there, the only complaint I read was that service wasn't great, but that's to be expected from a place that has recently opened (I learned that from my buddy Brian, who moonlights as a nightclub-owning socialite : ). The service last night at Sazón was perfectly adequate, with waitresses using typical terms of endearment such as "amor" and "mi vida". Aww shucks.
The menus have interesting tidbits about Cuba and Cuban cuisine. The restaurant decor is pretty upscale for a Cuban one, and the prices very reasonable. The bathroom has a garbage can with a sensor on it that opens when you wave your hand in front of it. I've never seen that before. Not really sure how that's better than using the bottom of your shoe to step on a pedal, but I'm not an engineer or anything.
So, we ordered some average salads (Cubans are just not good at making them) with avocado and too much watercress. The chicken was juicy and delicious. The picadillo was as good as my mother's (which is excellent). The lechon asado was inferior to Las Vegas', which happens to be the best I've ever had in my life. Beans good, but again, not as good as those at Las Vegas. Maduros, good. Tostones, good, but once again not as good as those at Las Vegas. They make them like the ones at Versailles. They're large and greasy, which many people prefer, pero no yo.
In the end, the only reason I can see going to Sazón over Las Vegas is that it's nicer inside. Oh, and outside. Slightly better foot traffic and people watching. And there's more parking nearby. Ok, that's 3 reasons, but who's counting? Oh, you are? My bad. Where's your sense of loyalty? Quit busting my chops, yous.