HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
May 15, 2007 10:19 AM

Essencia open (Hayes Valley Peruvian)

Opened yesterday. Short menu, average entree $20, Peruvian with high-quality ingredients. Cozy, bright space. Any early reports?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was wondering when this place was going to open. Last time I walked by, it looked like they were getting close. No report yet, but thanks for the heads up.

    7 Replies
    1. re: shortexact

      How about now? a month later and I can;t find any reports. I live down the street and want to try it but the prices are a bit prohibitive for me risk a poor meal. The reviews on yelp are mostly good but...

        1. re: sfeater

          Peruvian food should not be that expensive.. I know the rents are high in that area and many cannot survive. I would be curious how it compares to the other Peruvian place that opened on Courtland.


          1. re: Lori SF

            Interesting statement that a whole genre of food shouldn't be expensive.

            How does that work? Peruvian can be a mixture of Spanish, African, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Creole cuisines, among others. Italian (Perbacco, A16), Spanish (Piperade, B44), Chinese (Brandy Ho), Japanese (Kyo-Ya) are all in the same price range (not saying that all these are excellent, but many are), but Peruvian can't?

            Thanks again!

            1. re: norjah

              Your point is well taken. I guess in my Peruvian food experience I have not payed more than $19.00 per entree. In general I get tired of paying 26.00 + for entrees unless it somewhere exceptional and creative.

              1. re: norjah

                Peru supposedly has four of five distinct cuisines, and what we get her at restuarnts like Essencia is probably something called "New Andean" which is "updated" and similar to what Yuppies in Lima are going for. The Washington Post had an article some time ago that suggested Peruvian is "the new Thai."

                The heart of the Mission had (and maybe still does) a couple of Peruvian restaraurants even before Thai became the new Thai, which had a blue-collar clientele at blue-collar prices.

                Soup's rule states that "Ethnic cuisines in restaurants are priced in reverse proportion to their authenticity" |;0-)

            2. re: sfeater

              Here's a report

              Anne Gingrass formerly of Desiree and Hawthorne Lane is there. It's Cal-Peruvian.