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Jun 7, 2007 09:17 PM

Peruvian Survey

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.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gary Soup

      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.

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

      4 Replies
      1. re: Scrapironchef

        Yes, in this area El Chalan is the best Peruvian. It also has an Italian side to the menu

        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

        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

          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

            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

              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. 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.

          1. 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

              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. 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

                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.


                1. re: Fussy Foodie

                  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

                    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?