Peruvian in SFV?
Had a wonderful meal at Limon in the Mission in San Fran and would love to check out more restaurants that have Peruvian food closer to home. Anyplace to recommend in the San Fernando Valley? If not, great Peruvian restaurants elsewhere in LA? A recommendation on where I can get the drink, chicha morada? (hope I spelled that correctly!) Thanks!
I've been to Limon, haven't found any upscale place like that in LA. Four years of searching has made me settle on Los Balcones in Hollywood. And El Rocoto, the Gardena location.
The owner of Los Balcones has another restaurant, Las Dunas, in the Valley, but I haven't been. For ceviche at Los Balcones, I recommend ordering it spicy or medium spicy. If you order no spice I think you're really missing out.
Both restaurants have chicha but I don't really think any are made from the actual corn, they are probably instant, like KoolAid.
In this post I elaborated on the menus.
I agree with Nectarine's vote for El Rocoto, but with a mild heads-up based on a recent posting about them concerning a slip. I haven't been in about a year, but until then, I always found the food to be great, the service to be more than adequate, and the menu to offer alot of choices. One of my friends is from Peru, and he considers El Rocoto to be his favorite of Peruvian restaurants that he has tried. A distant second in my opinion is Mario's at 5786 Melrose. We had heard alot about it and were biting at the bit to try it. Upon getting there, waiting for a seat, and finally ordering, I found the food to be a little to oily/greasy for my tastes, and maybe the anticipation of having great Peruvian food was too high. It is still popular in that neighborhood though, so if you're wheeling around Melrose, it may be worth a try as long they're not lining up out the doors.
Well, I answered my own question . . . . accidentally! Was driving in Chatsworth and came across Jose Antonio's Peruvian Chinese on Devonsire (near DeSoto). So far, so good! They have chicha morada (made there) and I tried a wonderful appetizer (whose name I've promptly forgotten) which was beef, peppers, black olives all wrapped in a potato layer with red onions/dressing on the side. I'll have to go back to find out what it was called, but it was delicious!! Will still try to get to Las Dunas and the other wonderful suggestions. In the meantime, I can at least get my bebida fix! Looking forward to trying the Chinese versions. Thanks for your input. More is always welcome!
I have to say, the best Peruvian I found east of the 405 was Las Quenas, corner of Bellaire and Sherman Way in NoHo. Absolutely mindblowing ceviche -- get the octopus -- quite good saltados, and a European-style "menu" which includes appetizer (usually soup or papas a la huancaina, but sometimes other stuff, depending who's doing what in the kitchen), main, and dessert (mmmm, leche asada).