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Sep 27, 2008 07:29 AM

URGENT:Puro Sabor Peruvian-what should I eat?

I'm finally going to check out Puro Sabor, the Peruvian restaurant in Van Nuys, for lunch today. I'm used to Mario's -- I used to love the beef soup there, but it's been awhile since I went so I can't remember what else I liked.

I'm also taking a friend who has never had Peruvian. So my question is: what should a novice and a relative novice eat at a Peruvian restaurant that isn't too "exotic?"

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  1. Also, does Puro Sabor serve alcohol and what kind? Or can one bring in beer?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ValleyGal

      Puro Sabor does not serve alcohol. They do have a lovely purple corn beverage that I strongly suggest you try. Everything I have had there is great. The fried seafood platter, big enough for two, is a safe choice as well as being delicious. As Diana said below, Peruvian food is not that exotic but it is very good. Enjoy your lunch!

      1. re: ebethsdad

        I was going to rec this dish as well. It's called Jalea and I just shared it last night at Inka Mama's. I hope that it's as good here.

    2. Why avoid the exotic? You're going for peruvain, eat it all! There is nothing "icky" in peruvian cuisine-order what looks good! You'll love it! PArt of being a 'hound is having no fear of exploring food!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Diana

        My friend is a bit of a picky eater and this is her first try of Peruvian -- any suggestions?

        1. re: ValleyGal

          I have yet to eat at PS but I adore Peruvian food. You probably know your friend's tastes well enough to order for her. It may help to just sit back and let her see what others are ordering as well. Because the descriptions of Peruvian dishes can be very different and somewhat unusual to the unfamiliar, it might help to see and smell them as they go by to other tables. Maybe sit back at the table and order something really safe at first - maybe a basic seafood dish like soup - parihuela or chupe de camarones. If she prefers protein like chicken or beef, a chaufa or saltado is pretty safe. You can always order more. I tend to take the shotgun approach - order like mad and I'm always there batting clean-up if there's anything left.

          Horchata can be an acquired taste for some - it can be a bit on the heavy side on both weight and taste. I understand that PS's version is truly a homemade concoction that maybe you would be safer ordering than she. Drinks like Inca Cola are different as well. If she is as picky as you point out, then basic beverages may be more her thing.

          I don't know what PS offers as far as desserts or sweets, but they should be tame enough to her liking. Alfajores, puddings, and flan are pretty standard at most places, but most places usually will offer some sort of house special as well. I would expect a place like PS to have something up their sleeve... I really need to get out to Van Nuys and try this place. I hope you and your friend have a wonderful experience!

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Thanks -- I've written your recommendations down!

            Is Peruvian horchata kind of the same as one gets in Mexican restaurants?

            1. re: ValleyGal

              I'm sorry - I meant chica morada. I just ate Mexican food yesterday and topped it off with horchata... getting my Latin beverages crossed... If you've had chica morada, you probably understand how syrupy and strong the flavor can be - not everyone's cup of tea. PS's version is literally made from scratch and is atypical of the standard chicha morada, which may be even harder for the unfamiliar to grasp - I could be wrong, though...

      2. This link may help...


        "The sweetest spot is held by picarones, melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin doughnuts that resemble tempura-light funnel cakes. Drizzled with syrup made from dark, earthy pilloncillo sugar, the dessert exemplifies yet again why Puro Sabor is so apt as the restaurant's name." (LA Times) It may be worth going out there just for dessert!