Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pre-movie Peruvian in Hollywood

Living in the Los Angeles area, we are fortunate to have so many different options as far as food goes. Pardon the pun, but this town really is a melting pot. It’s not at all unusual to eat cuisines from several different countries within a one week time frame. Let’s see, last Friday night we had a fabulous Malaysian meal, the day before some Vietnamese banh mi, over the weekend it was Italian food, and last night? Peruvian.

Los Balcones Del Peru is a restaurant that has been frequented and written about by many Angelenos. It’s discreetly located on a busy corner in Hollywood near the Arclight Cinemas, making it a convenient dining destination for all us movie goers out there. After hearing so many good things about this place, I was more than eager to finally try it out. The menu at LBDP is pretty extensive and there seems to be something for just about everybody. Being a huge seafood fan, I pretty much knew that I wanted to try the ceviche. There are several on the menu to choose from but I went for the Ceviche De Pescado which the menu describes as "raw fish marinated in lime and peruvian spices." You also get to choose the degree of spiciness--I chose medium. My boyfriend who loves a good steak every now and again decided on a dish called Lomo Saltado, stir-fried strips of beef in a special sauce of tomatoes, onions and french fries.

While we waited for our meal, we were given a basket of warm bread and butter, and a green salsa on the side. The salsa was on the spicy side with just a hint of garlic. Eating the warm bread slathered with salsa was actually quite a delicious experience. So far so good.

Soon enough our plates came out. My ceviche was accompanied by a boiled potato, a boiled sweet potato, and corn. Everything looked beautiful. Though the degree of spiciness was a bit more than I anticipated, the firm yet tender white fish was tangy and flavorful. The potatoes were not too exciting, probably to balance out the strong flavors of the ceviche but I did enjoy the Peruvian corn with its oversized kernels.

My BF's dish looked and smelled wonderful too. The strips of beef sat in a slightly sweet sauce that was a little reminiscent of a Chinese stirfry. We found it interesting that the french fries were actually incorporated into the sauce itself but somehow, everything seemed to work.

We enjoyed our first experience at Los Balcones, though I'm not sure that it lived up to all the hype. Or maybe I just had very high expectations. In any case, one thing is for certain, Peruvian food sure has a lot of potatoes!

Los Balcones Del Peru
1360 Vine St, Los Angeles 90028
Between De Longpre Ave and Afton Pl
Phone: 323-871-9600

1 comment:

::Alejandro:: said...

For LA, Los Balcones is pretty good, plus it doesn't require a long drive to the South Bay or Valley where there are lots of other Peruvian restaurants. I prefer to it Mario's, Natalie's or Don Felix, which are all in the general area. And yes, potatoes are big in Peruvian food!