In a forever hunt for the best lomo saltado in NYC, this is another place we tried. This restaurant is located near Vernon where all the restaurants are, and it was relatively easy to walk in without reservations.
I got the passion fruit juice with water which was basically passion fruit syrup with water and crushed ice. It was pretty good, but it was pretty obvious that you could probably make this at home. It was neither sweet or sour, so they chose a good water/syrup ratio here.
We also got a pisco sour. I wasn’t too much a fan of this as it was a lot harsher than expected for me.
The chips with the green (aji?) sauce on the side was pretty good though. The green sauce had some heat to it, so after a while your mouth will start to burn. Also, this was refillable too.
The ceviche frutos del mar came with mixed seafood, marinated in rocoto aioli and came with corn and sweet potatoes. I thought the seafood was ok. I felt the shrimp tasted like frozen cocktail shrimp, but the fish was ok. Flavorwise, the sauce and everything was acceptable. Portion size was a little small, but it filled the eater enough.
The lomo saltado came with a thick sauce. You can see portion size was a little on the small size as it did not really cover the entire plate, or the plate was too large for their portion. The french fries did not have a great texture to it as it was a little soggy. The rice though had some seasoning to it, but I can’t pin down exactly what. I did find the sauce a little salty (as you would expect based on the pictures). The steak though was fairly tender. In the end, I think Jora’s lomo saltado was better compared to this.
The service was excellent here as the entire wait staff was very attentive and friendly.
Updates for August 29, 2020
We came back to have dinner with a friend, and we ordered some additional dishes. Due to the COVID temperament, we were seated in the patio area in the back next to plants, so make sure have bug repellant ready.
Here are some pictures of the dishes we ordered.
The half chicken was ordered with fries and plantains. The chicken was surprisingly juicy and tender.
The causa de camarones was shrimp stuffed in mash potato and some type of tomato-ish sauce around the shrimp. The green sauce is guacamole.
The empanada de aji de gallina came with 2 empanadas. The empanadas were stuffed with chicken and sat on top of guacamole.
The ceviche de pescadao came with fresh fish marinated in lemon juice, onions, and tomatoes.
This place is a decent alternative to Jora’s in the neighborhood for Peruvian food. I felt the lomo saltado was a little underwhelming, but it’s really hard to beat Mario’s in LA. Regardless, I think this restaurant is a decent neighborhood LIC spot especially for Peruvian.
The real reason for our three stars was because while we were sitting in the backyard, a huge rat ran across the backyard and into the bushes. We waited for 2-3 minutes and it darted again across the backyard closer to us. It was waiting for us to finish so it could have our leftovers. We decided to move inside and our server was very gracious about our decision. Rats are very common in LIC but next time we’ll probably eat inside.
Why rate a restaurant lower for something they really can’t control and it being a common occurrence in NYC?
The pork chicharron also had a gamey taste, which means not enough seasoning applied during preparation, as pork is really just a vehicle for the different spices you use on it.
It’s also quite possible that some people prefer the vehicle with its natural flavors and not being tainted by (over?) seasoning. Just an alternative viewpoint.