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Jul 24, 2008 01:23 AM

Peruvian kitchen now located in Irvine food court

So, after shaking off the surly bonds of work one time too many to sneak off for a long lunch, I decided it might be more prudent to stay closer to work when I go out for lunch. I'm in that Irvine dead zone, where I'm just a wee bit too far from the good food in Irvine, Tustin, and Santa Ana.

And, I so went to a nearby food court to re-visit Chicago's Best and give it another shot. (They had forgotten to include the peppers last time, and I wanted to see how much of a difference that makes).

But, I quickly made a detour when I saw Peruvian Kitchen standing a few stalls away from Chicago's Best in the spot where Lima City, a Peruvian fast food joint, had once stood in this same food court.I had given Lima City a couple of shots, but never found the food to be anything more than just average. Ironically enough, another Peruvian restaurant, Casa Inka, now stands in Peruvian Kitchen' former location in Fountain Valley.

Don't pass by Peruvian Kitchen because you've eaten at Lima City before cause they're not the same. PK is a notch above Lima City, with food more tasty and authentic. Lima City was like one of those cheesy Chinese fast food joints that sold mediocre food to white customers, and PK is like one of those Chinese restaurants where you actually see Chinese customers outnumber the white customers.

Now, I'm not saying that Peruvian Kitchen is necessarily worth a long detour if it means you're going to be late for work after lunch. But, if you're in Irvine and your other options are the nearby food courts, then this you should definitely give this place a shot.

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  1. Wow, I didn't know Peruvian Kitchen relocated to the same food court as Chicago's Best. I was at Chicago's Best on Tuesday, and I did see the Peruvian Kitchen sign, but it didn't register to me that it was the same place. Checking their website, it is updated to the food court address.

    I'll be adding it to my regular lunch rotation, as it is much closer to me now. The trek to western Fountain Valley is just a bit too far to squeeze lunch into an hour. I wasn't impressed with Lima City either, on my one visit there.

    And don't forget to ask for the peppers at Chicago's Best, as it is an extra, like adding cheese on a burger. I forgot to ask for it on my most recent visit, and the cashier didn't remind me. I'd been ordering the ribs, burgers, and Chicago dogs during my last few visits, so it's been awhile since I got an Italian beef sandwich.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wonginator

      Finally dropped by Peruvian Kitchen today for lunch, not wanting to get any of the normal fast food options nearby. Tried the lomo saltado for the first time, very good stuff.

      Picked up a menu and saw a picture of their dish called "lomo a lo pobre", which is a fried egg on top of a steak, looking a bit like the Hawaiian loco moco without the gravy. I think I'll order that next time.

    2. Authenticity test: do they serve guinea pig?

      1 Reply
      1. re: lawdog262

        Don't know, but they do serve anticuchos de corazon- grilled beef heart.

      2. Yup. I was there two weeks ago when it opened. It replaced my beloved Lima City, which had better food than you say (the mushroom chicken was always dependably delectable -- it wasn't exactly to the level of Lawndale's El Pollo Inka, but it was cheap!). Was going to do a proper review of Peruvian Kitchen soon.

        1. I'm sad to report that Peruvian Kitchen is now closed in the food court. I dropped by for lunch today and saw its security gate closed when it had normally been open during lunch time in the past. On the few times I did order from them, I was often the only one in line, and rarely saw other people order from them.

          Hopefully, they'll open up somewhere else in the future.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Wonginator

            Another update: looks like I was premature in saying that Peruvian Kitchen was closed for good. I did visit the food court again today, and they were open for business. The closure was temporary, maybe just for that one day when I visited a couple of week ago.

            Their stall wasn't busy, though. They had maybe 2 or 3 customers during the lunch hour when I was there.