Latin Chef Report -SD
I went for the first time yesterday for dinner at PBs Peruvian Restaurant. Its great that they expanded into the space next door -with all of the deserved attention it has recieved.
For dinner, though tempted by the Cau-Cau, I tried out the Pescado a la Chorillana. THis was a breaded filet of fish served with rice and topped with an escabeche-esque sauce of tomatoes and red onion. Piping hot and delicious - I scarfed it down! The sauce looked as if it had some annato in it - and was delightfully tangy so I suspect vinegar was an elment as well.
My friend tried to order the Aji de Gaillina - but we were told they were all out - which seemed strange - and then tried to get the Arroz con Pollo - which was also unavailable. It sounded like there was no more chicken in the restaraurant. So finally we were given an OK on the Lomo Saltado. I have to say I was really impressed by the juicyness and tenderness of the sirloin. It was fantastic. They also seem to be cutting their own fries now as well ;).
For our appetizer -which arrived a bit after our meals we had the Yuca with the huacaina sauce. This was hit. I loved the fried starchy tuber and I was amazed by the complexity of the sauce. Gentle, warming, & creeping heat, slight lactic cheeseness, and some spice of sort.
I really like their chicha morada here too. Not super sweet, refreshing and clovey.
I noticed the Green tallarin with the bistec at another table - this looked really good.
Thanks to all those who reported on this place - you discovered a gem.
Too bad you guys couldn't have the Aji de Gallina. That dish took me back to Lima. I'm glad to hear they've expanded!
I think I know why no chicken was served. During the week, Freddy told me he only purchases what he thinks he can sell in one day. He does this to ensure freshness. It's something he picked up when he used to own a Peruvian Restaurant in Tokyo, much in the manner of how sushi bars purchase their fish. This is also the reason why it's not really a good idea to visit Latin Chef on Sundays; they are likely to be out of certain dishes, especially anything with corvina, which is used for the cebiche and tiradito.
They still use the same amount of papas fritas on the lomo saltado...it's just that you have a different opinion when you're eating the food, rather than looking at a photo of someone else's meal! ;o)
We finally made it here for dinner! We had the yuca fries which were perfectly fried. The dipping sauce was perfectly gently spicy and salty. It would make a great french fry dip as well.
The sea bass cebiche was very good and we had a pretty generous amount for an appetizer serving. Good balance of citrus and spice. The yams on the side were really tasty as well. Reminded me a little bit of the cebiche at Andina in PDX.
We both ended up having the aji de gallina. Another excellent choice! Moist, shredded chicken in a perfectly gently spicy, flavorful sauce.
Chicha morada was really good. I've had this at other places and it was always "off" in some ways. Here, it was smooth, just a little tangy-sweet and left me wanting more.
Portions are decent sized. We got full after the apps and ended up taking our entrees home (will make a good lunch for tomorrow). The owner is very friendly and explained to us the different types of corn in Peru (there are 5, one is specifically made for chicken food) and showed us the purple corn that the chicha morada is made from.
We really hope they stay around for a while--this is a great cheap eat!
I'll repost here my report on Latin Chef:
Latin Chef won the day, and I am glad it did.
We started with a Chicha Morada (that beautiful purple drink - sweet with a wonderful spicy undertone and a simple salad, oh and those yummy salted corn nuts.
Then we had 3 entrees which were delivered to the two of us one at a time. That was nice. Gave us the opportunity to fully appreciate each dish and the combination of flavors.
First we had the Pescado a la Macha - This was my honey's favorite - a white sea bass lightly breaded and sauteed in a red sauce (just spicy enough) with shrimp, octopus, and calamari on top with a scoop of rice on the side. Delicious.
Second was the Aji de Gallina - This one was my favorite - tender pieces of shredded chicken in this wonderful creamy, spicy sauce - reminiscent of a curry also served with a scoop of rice.
Third was the Lomo Saltado - Steak sauteed with tomatoes and onions served with french fries and white rice. Satisfying and yummy.
Another aspect of the experience that was wonderful for us was the conversation we had with the owner, Freddie. He was warm and available and steered us well in our eating journey as well as telling us interesting things about Peru and his travels.
We left feeling full and happy. A meal made with love.
Oh and the woman next to us ordered one of the cebiche dishes which looked so so so good.............................next time.