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Jan 27, 2007 06:38 AM

Peruvian Buffet-Chatsworth-now open

There used to be a different ethnic restaurant in this location yet what just opened is a Peruvian Buffet in Chatsworth, the name just slipped my mind yet its on Topanga Cyn. and Nordhoff.

I was wondering if anybody can share their thoughts on Peruvian cuisine first since this is one style of food I've never had.

Thank You,


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  1. Are you talking about Fina Estampa? on the corner of Nordhoff and Topanga. Well, it didn't just open, it's been there for years. I think the food is poor, especially the buffet. If you go and order off the menu, it's better. There's a Columbian restaurant nearby, that's also soso, but better than Fina Estampa....Bolivar, Winnetka and Nordhoff (I think). - IMHO - Fina Estampa survives because there's no other sit down eatery close by to serve the Owensmouth businesses - I like the little Japanese take out in the strip mall at the corner of Owensmouth and Nordhoff - nifty teriyaki. :)KQ

    1. I work a block away from this spot and agree, this old restaurant that occupied this location was terrible yet its not that anymore. Just this last month its changed hands as to why I asked, they even remodeled the entire building too?

      Still curious?


      1 Reply
      1. re: Hypnotic23

        OH VERY, Sounds like a place to check out.- I used to work at Brendan Tours up the street- Yeh no more, and had gone to Fina Estampa.
        So what's the new place goin' to be? Maybe I should take a drive over there?

      2. Its already open, I cant place the new name right now, lets hope its different owners and not just a name change and remodeling, the outside looks quite nice now.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Hypnotic23

          Think I'll go check it out and report back. ....

          1. re: Hypnotic23

            Ok Stuart - Yep. Took a drive. New look, new sign but, alas same restaurant... Fina Estampa. Maybe, they've changed their quality?
            Let me know...KQ

          2. The original post asked for a rundown of Peruvian cuisine.

            Here's a really nice description
            It covers all the regions and cultures that influence the food.

            For breakfast, Sandwich de Chicharon is a pork sandwich, it's crispy pork chunks, in a white roll, a slice of sweet potato, and some thinly sliced purple onions and chile. The rendition people have mentioned on this board is Don Felix. A better one is at El Perol, at around 22nd and Mission in SF, but we’re not in SF.

            Four years of living in LA and searching has brought me to the conclusions of El Rocoto (Gardena location) (the Cerritos is more upscale, and I had two great meals there, one insipid one, having ordered virtually the same dishes), also, the Gardena location has more Chinese Peruvian options. And the other LA conclusion is Los Balcones, on Vine.

            A main test of Peruvian food in the U.S., is the aji, a yellow chile. If they’ve gone to the trouble to import it, then the food will reflect that. Dishes to order: papa a la huancaina, a potato appetizer with cheese sauce and aji. At Rocoto, Gallina Chi jo Kay (Chinese style chicken with mushrooms) was good, and the tallerin verde con bistek (pesto pasta w/ steak), and the soups, I like Sopa a la criolla, which has pasta and beef, is a little spicy and a piece of fried bread floating in it, and is a nice cozy soup, others like seafood soups, the kind where you have the arms and antennae of a whole shrimp emerging from your bowl. The ceviches are good at Rocoto. And the Seco de Cordero, lamb with beans.

            At Balcones, the ceviches are good, and the tacu tacu, which is like a refried bean. And again I get sopa a la criolla, though the Peruvian mother in law said it had too much oregano. She also is a stickler for beef quality, and didn’t like any of the beef dishes there (so there goes your lomo saltado), which I think Jonathan Gold wasn’t fond of their beef either. I would strongly suggest their papa a la huancaina, to me it is an impressive execution. Also their arroz chaufa con mariscos, which is Chinese fried rice, is good. The owner, Jorge, is super super nice, and loves to talk at length about Peruvian food. He said his other restaurant is Las Dunas in the Valley.

            1. Wherever you go, order Saltado de Mariscos and make sure you get extra green sauce (ahi)...