Puro Sabor is the best Peruvian lil mikey has ever had. His second favorite is Los Balcones. Both are way ahead of Chowhound standby Mario’s Peruvian in his book. “The food never disappoints,” agrees circe0723. “The other Peruvian restaurants around LA are inferior to Puro Sabor.”

On lil mikey’s first visit, the special of the day was seco gallina, “a wonderfully tender slow-cooked beef stew. I could, and did, cut the 2’’ cubes of beef with my fork. It was very beefy-tasting,” he says. He would order it again without hesitation.

Jalea de mariscos—a huge platter of fried mixed seafood—is easily too much food for two people, and a great bargain, says Bob Brooks. “I love this place,” agrees Galen. His favorite dish: pescado sudado. circe0723’s favorite is lomo saltado, a stir-fry with tender, tasty beef and french fries. A beef heart appetizer is also delicious, as is ceviche mixto—big, fresh-tasting chunks of fish, squid, octopus, and shrimp, still perfectly firm after marination. It’s served with “huge Peruvian corn kernels cooked two ways: boiled and fried. They both added texture to the dish and really made this a complete meal,” says lil mikey.

Not much English is spoken here, but you can get by well enough without it. The servers are “consistently lovely people who work hard to make you enjoy their restaurant,” says Bob Brooks. “I highly recommend this place.”

It’s about $9 to $12 per person, plus tax and tip.

Puro Sabor [San Fernando Valley East]
6366 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys

Los Balcones del Peru [Mid-City]
1360 Vine Street, Los Angeles

Mario’s Peruvian [Mid-City]
5786 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Board Link: Puro Sabor—Great Van Nuys Lunch

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