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Peruvian Food: Los Balcones del Peru, Mamita's and Mario's

I was disappointed with my experience at Los Balcones del Peru last night. I had been looking forward to trying more Peruvian food. The food was only okay, and the service was not great at all. They had one waitress working all the tables.

I definitely felt the food and service at Mamita's in Glendale was better. The portions were also larger and tastier.

There is a lot of buzz about Mario's. I need to try that next.

Any thoughts on the Peruvian restaurants in LA would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Mario's Peruvian & Seafood
5786 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

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  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650205 (among many other glowing reviews to be found on the LA board)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Adding link

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      Mo-Chica
      3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    2. Give Puro Sabor in Van Nuys a try. I think it's the best Peruvian in town.

      1. I love Mario's!
        The Chupe Carmarones is one of the best soups I have ever had. Don't like the lack of beer/wine or the lines but man-o-man the food is perfect.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Been to both Mario's and Balcones recently and Balcones seemed better--but largely because the last visit to Mario's was a disaster. Has anything changed lately at Mario's--we didn't recognize the guy behind the counter--or was it just cook's night off?

          1. re: Chandavkl

            I went last week for the first time in many years and thought it was as good as ever, maybe better.

        2. If you are ever in the South Bay, give Kotosh a try. It is Peruvian food and sushi. The owners are Japanese-Peruvians and the two cuisines actually go pretty well together.

          I also love Mario's. I wish I worked or lived closer to that place. :)

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          Kotosh at Kamiyama
          2408 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

          4 Replies
          1. re: annapurna7

            Second Kotosh - their salsa de aji is just right. Really like Puro Sabor too. Haven't tried Mo Chica yet but it seems they've nabbed the crown for elevated Peruvian cuisine.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Normally when one speaks of Peru and elevated my mind usually jumps to some Andean vista or nasal numbing botanical substance. Is Mo-Chica known to be more "higher" end (no pun intended) Peruvian fare?

              1. re: Servorg

                As I typed that word - elevated - I thought of you - no joke. "Hmmm - maybe I should change this to some other word - Servorg is sure to lambaste me for this. Oh what the hell - let's see if he bites..." :)

                From what I've read and heard, Mo Chica is about as high-end dining as one can currently find when it comes to Peruvian cuisine. I could be wrong, but aside from Mo Chica, I think tasting menus are unheard of in Peruvian restaurants around here.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  MO- CHICA
                  MO-CHICA

                  as i posted before- I returned from Gaston's new restaurant in Cuzco and went to Mo Chica three times in the next week. Mo-chica was every bit as good, if not imho better (but no need to split hairs)

                  as said above: the food is the highest, the ambiance is: what can you say- it is definately L.A. where you can't discount food in strip malls and other "unlikely" places. its "urban" fun and they are very nice, AND it is probably one of the best bargains in town (certainly better than any LA Week- or whatever they called that)

                  When Mario gets a new restaurant the prices will at least double

                  Don't miss it-

          2. Don't expect good service @ Marios, you go there for the food and "deal" with the sub par service. Despite their sucess @ the same location for over 20 years if I'm correct, they haven't found the need to expand to a bettter, more convenient location for the convenience of their customers, who've made them sucessful, or improved on their service. People still keep going. I guess they must be doing something right, because they're always busy. Their thought must be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ollie

              too bad Mario's doesn't move just a few blocks east to the former Pueblo Viejo spot near Larchmont Blvd. Would allow for beer & wine, and has about the same amount of parking to the rear of the building.