When my friend, Shaye, told me about the Peruvian dish, lomo saltado, I knew I *had* to have it. The combination of grilled steak, french fries, and tomatoes over white rice sounded, well, just lovely. Right??
Although Shaye recommended another restaurant in Pacific Beach (The Latin Chef is on my list), my Japanese-Peruvian friend, T, suggested that Nazca Grill is where to find her favorite Peruvian food in town.
We were the first to arrive for lunch on a weekday. The restaurant was dark, but inviting because of the friendly staff who greeted their first customers of the day. We ordered our drinks. My friend T ordered in español and they returned with our drinks, including this one for her....
Chicha morada is a traditional Peruvian drink made of purple corn. I did not have a taste, but it appeared to be tangy and sweet. There were no ice cubes in it either.
T ordered two appetizers for us to share, starting off with the papa a la huancaina, potatoes in a cheese sauce. We were surprised that this was a *cold* dish. The potatoes were boiled and sliced, like the hard boiled egg that sat on top. The sauce was not your average 'nacho-type' cheese sauce and was thinner and lighter. The dish was really simple and good.
The yuquita frita, fried yucca, was crispy, light and amazingly delicious! The yucca was topped with shaved pickled red onion that gave the yucca a touch of acidity. They also served a side of that same cheese sauce for dipping. Yum! I seriously could have eaten this all day.
There are so many dishes here I would like to try, like the bisteck a la parrilla con tallarin verde (grilled steak, noodles, spinach-basil cream sauce), pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), and arroz chaufa (fried rice). The next time T is in town from the east coast, we are definitely going!