La Costena, Lancaster
Well, I had a new dining experience in Lancaster last night and wanted to share about La Costena Peruvian Cuisine.
I admit, I have never eaten at a Peruvian restaurant before, so can't compare as to authenticity. The other couple that was with us have been to several when living in other cities.
This place is a very casual hole in the wall on West King St. (the waitresses had the Spanish language soaps on the big screen TV the whole time!) But the portions were enormous, and the most of the food was very good to great.
The real winner of the night was the Causa Rellena - a spicy mashed potato shaped into a bowl, and stuffed with a chicken mixture. It's an app. and we all shared this and agreed it was fantastic. We also shared a Ceviche Mixto to start, and were all pleased with the flavors and the seafood quality. One member of the party ordered the green salad, which was so big that we also ended up dividing that among us as another shared appetizer. While it was just lettuce with shaved red onion and a couple slices of tomato, it was perfectly dressed with a nice light vinaigrette.
For entrees, two of us got the Lomo Saltado and both of us thought it was fantastic. If you've never had Peruvian, be prepared for the rice AND potatoes on your place - this dish has french fries instead of boiled potatoes. The flavor of the sauce was great, and the french fries were actually quite good. My husband had the Aji De Gallina, and while it tasted good, felt it needed more seasoning in the sauce, I took a taste, and totally agreed. The last member of our group had Arroz con Mariscos and again felt the seasoning and flavor was good, but was disappointed in the huge proportion of rice to a relatively small amount of seafood.
Three of us had dessert. Apparently the rice pudding was tasty, but he realized the couldn't bring himself to eat that much more starch. The custard was tasty, but served too cold.
Overall a fun dining experience and a place I will seek out again. If you have adventurous kids, it is definitely family friendly.