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Peruvian Food: Los Balcones del Peru, Mamita's and Mario's

Our family used to be faithful to Los Balcones. But for the past year we keep returning to El Rocoto. (They also have a Cerritos location) Mo Chica is impressive, but we like going where everyone can get what they want off a more extensive menu, such as soup.

El Rocoto

1356 W Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248-3370
(310) 768-8768

Oct 18, 2009
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Best Steakhouse in Downtown LA?

I have been to PCD, Taylor's and Nick & Stef's (N & Stefs a couple times). Of the three I would vote PCD. Taylors was amusing for its charm, but I agree you won't find the steak memorable. Nick & Stef's, I went a couple times to try to figure out the hype, but for me, at that price, I measure steak by whether you're in happy ecstasy at the first bite. I wasn't at Nick & Stef's, and also, when I saw the steak when it was served, I wasn't thrilled in anticipation like I feel at Carlito Gardel's (not in your area of interest but that's the ecstasy-type steak I am ,easuring by). I wasn't excited cuz it wasn't huge or incredible looking. PCD, the steak seemed more delicious to me, while not off the charts, but depending on what your crowd is into, I found the attentive service very enjoyable, if I so much as glanced at the waiter who was standing at attention by the wall, he would come see if I wanted something.

Jun 07, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Blossom Việt Restaurant...downtown LA

Blossom's Pho's broth seemed like boullion to me, didn't seem to have the whole bone marrow thing going.

Apr 27, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Jose Antonio's?

I've been there and it's quite awful. The photo on the back of some Peruvian newspapers you can get in LA drew us in. My four years of searching has led me to recommend Rocoto in Cerritos, but preferably the Gardena location. Or Los Balcones de Peru, in Hollywood on Vine.

Mar 15, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

which La Parrilla location is best?

My vote is no for downtown. Haven't tried the others.

Mar 13, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Peruvian in SFV?

I've been to Limon, haven't found any upscale place like that in LA. Four years of searching has made me settle on Los Balcones in Hollywood. And El Rocoto, the Gardena location.

The owner of Los Balcones has another restaurant, Las Dunas, in the Valley, but I haven't been. For ceviche at Los Balcones, I recommend ordering it spicy or medium spicy. If you order no spice I think you're really missing out.

Both restaurants have chicha but I don't really think any are made from the actual corn, they are probably instant, like KoolAid.

In this post I elaborated on the menus.

Mar 03, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

you guys want a reasonably priced steakhouse?

It is my favorite steak place in LA. Not that I've been to a ton of steak places, but certainly better than Nick and Stef's. (I've been to Ruth's Chris, albeit in another city, not impressed). At Carlito's Gardel, I always order the rib eye (but then again I love rib eye). I always consider ordering gnocchi or some other homemade pasta, cuz Argentines pride themselves on their pasta as well. But I end up on the rib eye. For me, the test of a steak is when at the first bite, you are thinking "YES! This is it!!!" That's how it is there.

Feb 23, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Anyone else disappointed with Versailles/Venice Blvd?

The lousiness of Versailles in proportion to its positive reviews inflames my ire. Not a fan of Cha Cha Cha either. I concur, Havana Mania, or even El Cochinito, though I do not contend to be any kind of authority on Cuban cuisine.

Feb 15, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Peruvian Buffet-Chatsworth-now open

The original post asked for a rundown of Peruvian cuisine.

Here's a really nice description
It covers all the regions and cultures that influence the food.

For breakfast, Sandwich de Chicharon is a pork sandwich, it's crispy pork chunks, in a white roll, a slice of sweet potato, and some thinly sliced purple onions and chile. The rendition people have mentioned on this board is Don Felix. A better one is at El Perol, at around 22nd and Mission in SF, but we’re not in SF.

Four years of living in LA and searching has brought me to the conclusions of El Rocoto (Gardena location) (the Cerritos is more upscale, and I had two great meals there, one insipid one, having ordered virtually the same dishes), also, the Gardena location has more Chinese Peruvian options. And the other LA conclusion is Los Balcones, on Vine.

A main test of Peruvian food in the U.S., is the aji, a yellow chile. If they’ve gone to the trouble to import it, then the food will reflect that. Dishes to order: papa a la huancaina, a potato appetizer with cheese sauce and aji. At Rocoto, Gallina Chi jo Kay (Chinese style chicken with mushrooms) was good, and the tallerin verde con bistek (pesto pasta w/ steak), and the soups, I like Sopa a la criolla, which has pasta and beef, is a little spicy and a piece of fried bread floating in it, and is a nice cozy soup, others like seafood soups, the kind where you have the arms and antennae of a whole shrimp emerging from your bowl. The ceviches are good at Rocoto. And the Seco de Cordero, lamb with beans.

At Balcones, the ceviches are good, and the tacu tacu, which is like a refried bean. And again I get sopa a la criolla, though the Peruvian mother in law said it had too much oregano. She also is a stickler for beef quality, and didn’t like any of the beef dishes there (so there goes your lomo saltado), which I think Jonathan Gold wasn’t fond of their beef either. I would strongly suggest their papa a la huancaina, to me it is an impressive execution. Also their arroz chaufa con mariscos, which is Chinese fried rice, is good. The owner, Jorge, is super super nice, and loves to talk at length about Peruvian food. He said his other restaurant is Las Dunas in the Valley.

Jan 27, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Good places to eat in Cerritos?

El Rocoto is Peruvian in Cerritos. I had 2 great meals there, one disappointing bland meal. I suggest: Ceviche mixto, tiradito (another variation of ceviche, developed by a Japanese chef in Lima supposedly), tallarin verde con bisek (pesto pasta w/ rib eye steak), good papa a la huancaína (signature Peruvian potato dish) served with rib eye.

El Rocoto Restaurant 11433 SOUTH St,CERRITOS, CA 90703 (562) 924-1919

Jan 18, 2007
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

ABC and NBC seafood

Near NBC, is Capital Seafood. I give Capital Seafood the slight edge over NBC.

Great fried squid, also the dish with the tofu paper stuff with mushrooms or pork inside.

Capital Seafood
755 West Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park
Near Ranch 99 Market

Dec 19, 2006
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Downtown food court battle is on! Office cog survey!

I've tried it several times, and it seems they don't use the laborious beef bone broth method. There broth was clear as if it were bouillon. They are good for other noodle dishes though. Thanks.

Dec 05, 2006
nectarine in Los Angeles Area

Downtown food court battle is on! Office cog survey!

There is actually Thai downtown, in the jewelry district. They have daily offerings, two for $6, such as curry, spicy catfish. If I don't like what they have, I order Pad See Yew off the menu, and they make it to order.

Rama Thai Cuisine
625 S Hill St # 68, Los Angeles, CA 90014

This salad place has been mentioned on this board.

Also, Los Angeles Pizza (formerly Lamonica's) at 5th and Grand, which has also been mentioned previously on this board.

I agree that Gas Co. has a good food court. Sometimes they have salad w. macadamia nuts and mango. I like going there for breakfast sandwiches.

I’ve been to Pho in the fashion district, wasn’t memorable, would really love Pho downtown.

Dec 05, 2006
nectarine in Los Angeles Area