La Limena - Rockville
Great new Peruvian/Cuban Restaurant in Ritchie Plaza at 765 Rockville Pike. Makes this strip mall a Chowhound's oasis with India Grill, El Mariachi, a Pho place, and Sam's Kebab Restaurant (not to mention the IHOP anchor tenant).
La Limena is sit-down and a carry-out. Apps/starters include great ceviches (try Choros a la Chalaca - mussels heaped with red onions, garlic, lime juice, sea salt and cilantro), tamales, tostones and empanadas. Sandwiches include "Monster" concoctions of roast pork, or roast chicken or a Cubano, and still more varieties offered Sunday only. Mains include rotisserie chicken, 6 beefsteak preparations, shrimp, trout, heart and grilled tripe (excellent, served with a spicy, garlicky mayonaise). Nothing more than $10. Sides include potatoes (lots), rice, beans, yuca, plantains, corn on the cob. Peruvian desserts and beverages round out the offerings, no beer though. Service is unceasingly polite and efficient.
Cubano was quite good, and the rotisserie chicken is excellent!
I had one of the steak preparations (the one smothered with onions), and it was very tasty, and even though it was thin, they cooked it to the requested medium rare.
And, as noted, service is incredibly warm and friendly.
Stopped by tonight. Very promising, especially for those in the area looking for a welcoming, family-friendly place with an extensive menu of what looks to be solid, not-by-the-numbers food (shout out to Smokey!). Trout, Limena steak, and rotisserie chicken all above average, and the folks there couldn't be nicer. *Lots* of diners ordering the shrimp bisque-ish soup -- I'll have to hit it next time.
Probably not a destination place -- not with other fine Peruvian in NoVa, for instance. But if you're in the area, and you're a bit tired of the ol' standbys (Joe's, A&J, Bob's, Pho 75, Temari, etc.), this is a very solid -- probably very dependable -- bet.