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Peruvian Survey

kare_raisu Jun 7, 2007 09:17 PM

I am interested in checking out the peruvian restaraunts in the bay area -can you steer me in the right direction with dish reccomendations.

So far I think I will try El Perol first.

  1. Chuckles the Clone Jun 26, 2007 09:30 PM

    Mi Lindo Peru out on Mission near 29th. Ceviche is great. Decent wine for very decent prices. And the astounding Bistec a lo pobre -- a big hunk of pan fried steak topped with fried onions, a fried egg, and a fried banana.

    1. m
      mrsricho Jun 26, 2007 09:51 AM

      I definitely prefer Fresca Fillmore to Limon. The ceviches are fresh, and I love the salad with steak, avocado and creamy cilantro lime dressing. Highly recommended!

      1. k
        kchowder Jun 25, 2007 05:35 PM

        Inkas on Mission and 29th is another really good Peruvian joint to check out:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360383?query=inkas
        http://www.inkasrestaurant.com/
        It's definitely not as fancy as Fresca or Limon, but it has a nice, homey feel to it and the service is very friendly, if a bit on the slow side. Definitely get some appetizers to tide you over until the entree comes. Then again, you might end up filling up on (pretty crappy) bread, which you will use as a vessel for the addictive aji amarillo sauce they have at the table. Pollo a la brasa was excellent, as were the anticuchos.
        GIve Mi Lindo Peru a shot - it's also on Mission around 29th. Again, it's not upscale Peruvian, but like INkas, it has a cozy, home-cooking kind of unpretentious atmosphere I like a lot. Very tasty cilantro-seafood soup, good picante de mariscos and lomo saltado. Can't comment on the ceviche.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kchowder
          bernalgirl Jun 27, 2007 12:48 PM

          Thanks for the reminder to try Inka's. I've always liked Mi Lindo Peru, which is more like a small homey place in Peru than the more upscale Piqueos/Limon/Fresca options. I return for their arroz con pollo, which is an immense portion of total comfort food. My husband likes the seafood soups.

          The family who runs Mi Lindo Peru is also very friendly and welcoming, which adds to the appeal.

          1. re: bernalgirl
            susancinsf Jun 27, 2007 12:51 PM

            and thank you for the mention of the arroz con pollo at Mi Lindo Peru: I've been craving it lately, and tried making my own, but it didn't quite come out as I'd hoped. Think I will head down there soon...

        2. shortexact Jun 25, 2007 03:27 PM

          A very recent report on Essencia, the newish Cal-Peruvian in Hayes Valley:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412102

          1. m
            ML8000 Jun 25, 2007 02:25 PM

            There a place on Broadway near Jack London Square - LA Furia Chalaca. I've walked by a few times but never gone in. There's a few reviews on CH. Looking in, it didn't look inviting but comments on the food are good: http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

            1 Reply
            1. re: ML8000
              Ruth Lafler Jun 25, 2007 03:40 PM

              Funnily enough, the search engine turns up the invite for the chowdown we had at La Furia Chalaca, but not the report. After much digging around, I found it linked to another posting: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/22243

            2. m
              mlucier Jun 8, 2007 12:04 PM

              I just tried Peruvian food for the first time the other night at Fresca on Fillmore. We had a group of six people and we got to take bites off of each other, but I ordered the spinach and crab salad with "tempura" avocados and the the ahi tuna cevice with avocado served in lettuce cups. We also had mango cheese cake and some other chocolate dessert. I'm not a huge fan of mango, but the cheesecake was fantastic. And of course we ordered Sangria. Everything was really fresh tasting, delicious, the service was really good. We wound up being there 2and half hours before even realizing it. I recommend this place.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mlucier
                f
                Fussy Foodie Jun 8, 2007 12:47 PM

                My experience at Fresca was quite different. I went to the same one on fillmore and was less than impressed. We ordered the ahi ceviche lettuce cups and the traditional 5 elementos ceviche. While I did like the ahi, the 5 elemento just didn't have the depth that the ceviche at Limon has. We also had the papa rellena of which I didn't eat more than one bite, I just couldn't handle the flavors. We finished with the chicken stew that was decent but not worth going back for.

                I think my biggest problem is that they pack you in like sardines. Plus we went on a friday night and the service was slow. The waiters were hustling, but there weren't enough of them for a busy night.

                Also, and this might be a little nit-picky, the head chef, Jaun Calvo Perez, was out in front seating people and running food as apposed to being back in the kitchen. They dedicate a section of the website to him and his credentials, seems like he should be in the back on a bust night? Then again they did look understaffed

                What day did you go on mlucier? Maybe they are better on slower nights. Were any of the dishes that others in your party ordered memorable.

                www.frescasf.com

                1. re: Fussy Foodie
                  bernalgirl Jun 8, 2007 04:25 PM

                  I've never been that impressed with the Fresca on Fillmore, the food there seems more muddled to me and the food more salty. I've had good experiences at the Fresca in Noe Valley, however, and consider their ceviches much better than Limon's since they moved and now prep from that ceviche bar -- at Limon the flavors no longer seem to get a chance to blend at all before coming straight to the table. I can't say we dove too far into the ceviche at Piqueos, but we liked the small plates there -- made a meal of them, in fact.

                  1. re: bernalgirl
                    Lori SF Jun 25, 2007 02:35 PM

                    I went to Fresca on West Portal I sat near the kitchen and got so repulsed by the odors and how they were handling the food.

                    I did not like the one on Filmore either.

                    I use to love Limon but did not feel the same way the last time I was there three years ago, things were bland just no flavor. maybe it's better again.

                    I want to try the new place over in Bernal Heights, name?

                    1. re: Lori SF
                      Robert Lauriston Jun 25, 2007 03:49 PM

                      Piqueos. It's a spinoff of Mochica. Shorter menu.

                      http://www.piqueos.com
                      http://mochicasf.com

              2. f
                Fussy Foodie Jun 8, 2007 11:32 AM

                I agree with single chef guy. Limon in SF is awesome. I've never been disappointed. The ceviche is not to be missed and the lomo saltado is consistently good. The foie gras with scallops is also a solid dish and I love the flavor of the Chicarron de Pollo, flash fried boneless dark meat with a lemon vinaigrette.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fussy Foodie
                  swag Jun 26, 2007 07:57 PM

                  I gotta differ on this one. The place is too much of a dating scene -- the meat is in the chairs when it should be on the table. The upper seating area is like sitting in a chimney when the smoke comes pouring through. And the food, like all my experiences with Peruvian food in SF, left something to be desired -- nothing my wife couldn't make at home.

                  To each his own, though.

                2. singleguychef Jun 8, 2007 11:29 AM

                  I always recommend Limon in the Mission district. Any of its ceviches are nice (I especially like their ceviche in cream) and the lomo saltodo is pretty authentic.

                  www.limon-sf.com

                  1. Scrapironchef Jun 8, 2007 10:18 AM

                    El Chalan on San Pablo Dam Avenue in El Sobrante. Close to me and very good.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Scrapironchef
                      rworange Jun 8, 2007 11:25 AM

                      Yes, in this area El Chalan is the best Peruvian. It also has an Italian side to the menu
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34397

                      The chicken isn't my favorite. The specials are always good. Sunday afternoon is the best to go when the Peruvians drop by for lunch That being said, I wouldn't travel from your location to go there. However, should you try it there is Plaza Girabaldi nearby
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/337775

                      This is a really wierd restaurant that I have really tried to like more. First of all you have to catch the Peruvian cook when he's still there. Second, the Peruvian I've tried there so far has been better at El Chalan. But those fish tacos though not Peruvian are worth a try.

                      I've been waiting for Plaza Girabaldi to go out of business because ... well, if you see the place ... however they have at least one taco truck, so I'm guessing the taco truck ironically keeps them open.

                      There are quite a few places in SF like Fresca, Limon, Mi Linda Peru,. El Perol, Karamanduka, Zcaveche, Piqueo's, Rincon Peruano. Haven't been to any of those yet.

                      There's Golden Inca in South San Francisco ... also untried.

                      1. re: rworange
                        Scrapironchef Jun 25, 2007 01:28 PM

                        While down in Oakland the other day I saw a sign for a new place getting ready to open near High st just East of International. I'll try it in a couple of weeks when I'm back down in the nabe.

                        I second your opinion of El Chalan's chicken, it's the one clunker on the menu.

                        1. re: rworange
                          lexdevil Jun 26, 2007 09:07 PM

                          El Chalan is in the same location as Il Tumi, a place I used to frequent when I taught in the WCCUSD in the '90s. I remember liking their Papas Rellena and Anticuchos quite a bit. Is El Chalan the same folks as Il Tumi, or is it just a coincidence that one Peruvian restaurant was replaced by another? And, more importantly, how are the Anticuchos?

                          1. re: lexdevil
                            Scrapironchef Jun 26, 2007 09:28 PM

                            Haven't gotten to those yet, we have a hard time getting past the ceviche...
                            I'm growing two recoto pepper plants in the back yard this summer, I may take a bsket of them down there to challenge them.

                      2. Gary Soup Jun 7, 2007 09:27 PM

                        If your survey is comprehensive, be sure and include San Francisco's only "Chifa" (Peruvian Chinese, which is a cuisine in its own right).

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42819

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Gary Soup
                          c
                          Chandavkl Jun 8, 2007 02:36 PM

                          I was wondering about this. A good portion of the Peruvian restaurants in the Los Angeles area have a Chinese link, though most don't serve Chinese food, except for fried rice. I guess the link is weaker in the Bay Area.

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