Peruvian in Los Angeles
- Jessica Nemeroff Ritz
I have had some of the most amazingly delicious meals
at Mario's Peruvian Seafood in the Radio Shack strip
mall on Vine and Melrose in Hollywood. Saltado de
mariscos (#26) sounds unappetizing to most until they
experience it. Many of my friends have become big MP
fans, even those who were initially reluctant to dig
into a large platter of shellfish with french fries and
onions all sauteed in a magical sauce served over
fluffy white rice. (Plus MP worked its way up to a
sanitation A grade, although my father swears it was
better during the B and C days.) Take note that not all
offerings are as good as #26 or the siete mares soup.
Where else can I find such dishes as well as other
Peruvian delights in the LA area? And why does that
Inca cola taste like bubble gum?
I agree with you, Jessica. Mario's is a dandy place
to eat Peruvian food. My particular favorite, though,
is El Pollo Inka. Actually there are many El Pollo
Inkas (seven I believe) scattered around the Los
Angeles area. The one I usually frequent is at 23705
Hawthorne Blvd., between Lomita Blvd. and Pacific Coast
Highway, because they also provide live Peruvian folk
music on Friday night (alas, it used to be Thursday
through Sunday nights). Other Pollo Incas may also
have live music but, since the schedule of live music
at any particular restaurant can be a little
iffy, it's wise to check beforehand. Among my
favorites at El Pollo Inka are the ceviche mixto
(clams, shrimp, squid, and octopus served with yams and
corn on the cob); ocopa (potatoes with a walnut/shrimp
sauce); anticuchos (grilled marinated beef hearts);
papa a la huancaina con bisteck (steak and potatoes
with cheese sauce), pariheula (sort of a Peruvian
bouillabaise) and the aji de gallina (shredded chicken
in walnut gravy). Other Peruvian restaurants include
Don Felix (on Virgil just south of Sunset Blvd.) and El
Rocoto (on Artesia Blvd. in Gardena).
re: Tom Armitage
El Pollo Inka is indeed the best Peruvian restaurant
in town these days (I tend to go to the one in
Lawndale, although even the branch on Wilshire
in Brentwood isn't bad). But the actual
flame-roasted chicken is even better at Pollos
a la Brasa, a tiny stand on a traffic island
on Western at 8th St.
El Salto de la something--the Friar's Leap--on
Firestone in Downey is great, though far. And
you can't discount the Peruvian-Japanese dishes
at Matsuhisa--especially the tiradito--whose
globetrotting proprietor is undoubtedly the most
famous chef ever to blow out of Lima
I have eaten at Mario's for years and get the same
thing everytime and have never been disappointed.
(Actually the fact that it closes so early during the
week is a bit disappointing). It is the perfect place
to eat after visiting the LA County free concerts on
Friday nights. I like the cold muscles to begin with.
They are poached ( I think) and covered in onions and
tomato salsa. You have to like raw onions. And how
about that green salsa and the bread on the table?
They should bottle that fabulpous stuff!!! I am
looking for good Japanese in little Tokyo.