Excellent Peruvian on Venice Boardwalk
It is called El Huarique. 1301 Ocean Front Walk, #10.
It is serious cooking in a most unexpected place. You have to enter this hallway that is I guess a food court. Seating is counter/bar style, no tables. They've been open for only 3 months.
I ordered a ceviche, as a matter of course. Juicy mussels, octopus, white sea bass, and shrimp. The fish changes based on what's available at the market, you get the feeling it isn't presliced halibut strips that they defrost.
El jefe let my friend and I sample the red corn chicha, with cinnamon and other flavors. I never order sodas or sweet drinks, but this was so good we both got one.
There's also some decent Belgian-style truffled pommes frites a couple stalls over.
Not half bad.
I have ordered delivery from this restaurant twice through http://eat24.com/. The food was good both times. In my opinion, this is one of the better restaurants that delivers to Santa Monica--probably about as good as it gets for Santa Monica delivery after Ivy at the Shore and Hostaria Del Piccolo (through LABite).
Very good. Talk about hold in the wall! It is about as literal a translation of that term as you can imagine. A food court? That sounds like a grand step up.
The whole Mo-Chica experience (the first one that was really in a food court) was big fun; surprisingly upscale food for a de facto food court.
But this location is really kind of an unbelievable dump (which is part of the charm) - and yet the food comes out beautifully plated and artfully-crafted. Tried a couple ceviche/cebiches. Excellent. Looking forward to going back. And trying everything. This is one fun funky find.
Only problem is - there's no real place to eat the food except a couple of (mis-matched) barstools at a very shallow counter.