Puro Sabor - Great Van Nuys Lunch
The waitress didn’t speak a word of English, which I appreciated. It made it more authentic-feeling. She was very sweet and helpful, though. I asked what the best thing on the special board was and she said the “seco….carne o gallina?” I chose the carne.
They bring each person a good-sized roll with a squirt bottle of aji to enjoy while you wait. I also ordered an Inka cola, which is basically sugar water that smells and tastes like bubble gum.
When the main course came, it was a wonderfully tender slow-cooked beef stew. I could, and did, cut the 2” cubes of beef with my fork. It was very beefy-tasting, and had delicious sauce over the top. It was served with pickled red onions and rice. This was a very good dish that I will order again without hesitation.
My buddy ordered the ceviche mixto, which was also a winner. There were big chunks of fish, squid, octopus and shrimp, which were done perfectly. It tasted fresh and maintained its firmness through the marinating process. It was topped with thinly sliced marinated onions and served with the huge Peruvian corn kernels cooked two ways: boiled and fried. They both added texture to the dish and really made this a complete meal.
This place serves the best Peruvian I’ve had. My second favorite is Los Balcones, which is far ahead of Marios, Don Felix, et. al.
I am definitely going back to this place.
6366 Van Nuys Blvd. (just north of Victory)
I have been there a few times now and the food never disappoints - I usually order Lomo Saltado, and the meat is always tender and tasty. The other Peruvian restaurants around LA are inferior to Puro Sabor. Last time i went, I ordered the appetizer with heart (forget what it's called) and it was delicious (well, I guess you need to like intestines to begin with, but if you do you should try this dish). The secong appetizer we had were the potatoes with cheese sauce - pretty basic, but tasty as well. They also have chicha morado: it's a typical Peruvian drink made out of purple corn.
We were there as a party of four this past Saturday night. They do a mixed seafood frito misto ( I believe it's called jalea de mariscos, or something like that) that easily is too much food for two people and a great bargain. We've had different servers each time we've been but they have been consistently lovely people who work hard to make you enjoy their restaurant. I highly recommend this place.
I love this place. I put up a posting right when they opened. It's amazing how many people read and respond to Chowhound posting. The owner's daughter told me a lot of people (Chowhounds) would come in to her place and order Pescado Sudado, which I highly recommeded, because they read about it on Chowhounds. I told her I'd do a write-up on Yelp, but haven't got around to it yet.