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Peruvian Cuisine for Easter Sunday Linner

My brother-in-law from Singapore has a layover on Easter Sunday at LAX and is available from about 2pm. He loves Peruvian cuisine (which is nowhere to be found in SE Asia) so we hope to take him somewhere worthy. I don't know if any Peruvian restaurants will be open on that day, Kotosh in Lomita (his favorite) is closed at 2PM between their lunch and dinner cycles, and Mo Chica's website indicates no Sunday hours. It's been a while since we've been to El Rocoto in Gardena so I don't know if they're on their game as of recent. If Puro Sabor is open, I think they will be our choice, but any other recs will be welcome. You make the rec, I'll call to see if they're open on Easter Sunday. Thanks!

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  1. Try Cuzqo on Santa Monica Blvd & Barry Ave. in West LA.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jeryy

      I plead ignorance on Cuzqo - didn't even know that a Peruvian place was in West LA! Will call them today. Thank you!

      1. re: Jeryy

        I couldn't find Cuzqo (or Cusco, Cuzco, Cusqo) listed in Chow, Yelp, Yahoo or Menupages. Would you happen to have their phone number? Thanks.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          I think they meant Qusqo
          http://qusqo.com/

          Found it using Google Street view

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          Qusqo Bistro and Gallery
          11633 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

              Looked over their website - looks like a pretty nice bistro, but no Sunday hours. :( Thanks again.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                FYI, it's possible that they have gotten better, but when I tried Qusqo shortly after they opened it wasn't very good. I'm not sure where else to suggest though, since my favorite Peruvian places are definitely Mo Chica followed by Kotosh, and you already know that they are closed. But I don't think a Mo Chica or Kotosh lover would be happy with Qusqo (for future reference).

                1. re: Nicole

                  Thanks for the input on Qusqo. Looking at their website, it looks like a nice space. I can understand you really liking Mo Chica, but you really like Kotosh as well? Glad to hear that I'm not alone. :)

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    It is a nice space, but everything we tried there lacked flavor. Very disappointing. But perhaps they've improved with time. I thought Kotosh had the best ceviche and tiradito in town...until I tried Mo Chica's amazing ceviche. Although it would be nice to get Mo Chica or Kotosh's food in Qusqo's space!

                    1. re: Nicole

                      >>Although it would be nice to get Mo Chica or Kotosh's food in Qusqo's space!<<

                      Tell me about it... A great Peruvian option somewhere in the Westside would make my life complete. :) We'll have to drop by Qusqo some time. I can hope that they're more than just drinks and winks...

        2. You can always try El Pollo Inka in a pinch. It's not as good as the other places you've mentioned, but if they're closed... whatcha gonna do?

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          El Pollo Inka
          15400 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

          8 Replies
          1. re: DrBruin

            It's been some time since I hit up El Pollo Inka. Definitely not a bad choice, but I've found that they have their differences between the two locations I'm more familiar with. The Lawndale location had the wood-fired roasted chicken - at least they did before their extensive remodel. But the salsa aji was watery and tasted of wilted lettuce. I was pulling out lettuce fibers from the sauce. The Torrance location had good aji and the chicken was pretty good but not stellar like the Lawndale location. The other dishes were above average - their saltados and tallarins. Hmmm - come to think of it, I don't think I've ever tried their ceviche. And to be honest, I haven't been to the Hermosa Beach or Gardena locations since the early 90s. I will call just confirm if any are open though. Thanks for rebooting my memory banks.

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            El Pollo Inka
            15400 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

            1. re: bulavinaka

              I really like El Pollo Inka Lawndale and yes they still have the wood burning ovens.

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              El Pollo Inka
              15400 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

              1. re: wienermobile

                Good to know. Was my last experience with their salsa de aji a fluke?

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Honestly, I haven't had any salsa de aji issues at the Torrance or Lawndale locations. I nearly empty a whole bottle every time I go.

                  I have had some subpar pollo saltado on a couple of occasions at both locations so I generally go with the lomo saltado or the roasted half chicken.

              2. re: bulavinaka

                I've been to the Hermosa Beach location of El Pollo Inka pretty recently and the last couple of times I was there I felt like the food had slipped downhill several notches. I haven't been to the other southbay locations, though. I used to like the one in Brentwood, which no longer exists. It's probably been 2 years since I've been to El Rocoto, but I have a feeling that will be your best bet, if they are open.

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                El Rocoto Restaurant
                11433 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703

                El Pollo Inka
                1100 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste 2, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                1. re: Nicole

                  The Hermosa location has always seemed like an afterthought. I've been to the Torrance location more often because it's convenient. Haven't been to the Lawndale location since they completed the remodel, but poster wienermobile (can't type that name with a straight face :)) confirms that the wood burning ovens are still there.

                  My wife was able to confirm (through a Spanish-speaking associate) that Puro Sabor IS open Easter Sunday from 9-9. This may be the best news I've heard all day!

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                  Puro Sabor
                  6366 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    That's great news! It's very kind of you to do all this research for your brother-in-law, I'm sure he will appreciate that you located Peruvian food for him on a major holiday!

                    1. re: Nicole

                      Thanks. He has a relatively small window of time during his layover. He arrives in LAX at 1PM from Tokyo, so baggage, customs/immigration should put him on the curb around 2PM. He normally gets three to four days with us, but this time he flies out the next morning. He wants to spend time with us as well - haven't seen him in two years. So we figure linner with his beloved Peruvian dishes and the rest of the night at our home with us, a few bottles of wine (gotta get his fill of wine - Singapore's wine choices are still relatively sparse and $$$ in comparison) and maybe a few extra Peruvian takeout dishes.

                      He's searched high and low for Peruvian food in Singapore and it's nowhere to be found. He said that it's something he craves often and can't do much about it. So I figure since we're to blame for introducing him to the cuisine, and since it's been two years since his last causa, ceviche or sudado mixto, it's the least we owe him. Next time he's here for any length of time, it's Mo Chica for sure, and we'll pull up this thread and take him to the other places mentioned just to top him off. :)

            2. Here is a hole in the wall which should scratch the Peruvian itch
              Pollos el Brasero #3

              Dommy did our review a while back.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625131

              I think they are open on Sundays

              Edit: Chowhound didn't add the Link
              5163 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
              (323) 936-4444

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              Pollos El Brasero No 3
              5163 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                Really nice post. The causa and milanesa look incredible - a real dichotomy in presentation as well! I totally missed this post last year. I'll put this one down as well. Thanks again.

              2. Mario's Peruvian Restaurant at Melrose and Vine.

                http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=...