A quick comment: thanks to streetgourmetla. I'm short on time right now, but I wanted to quickly post my reaction to Anticucheria Danessi;
That is the reaction.
Grilled heart skewers: awesome. Totally, unreservedly awesome.
Lomo saltado (beef stir-fried with french-fries) - best saltado I've had in LA, and I've had a *lot* of saltados.
Chichas. There are two chichas. This is purple corn drink. One is chicha mora, I think, which is kind of dull, especially compared to the chicha wonderlands of Puro Sabor and Los Balcones. It is the usual chicha. Then there is chicha.. jugo? juro? Somethin' like that. It's lightly fermented chicha. It tastes like wild, punked-out, potentially hallucinogenic sweet citrus version of Belgian beer. When the lady brought us our chichas, and found out we hadn't had chicha jugo before, she actually tried to take it back... she was totally sure we'd hate it. She seemed shocked that we loved it. It is dense, very luminously and roundly yeasty, and wonderful. I can see how this would disturb people. This is the Extreme Bizarro version of a purple corn drink. It is WEIRD. It is great.
Those fried sweet potato dessert things... that start with a 'p'... they're the first thing on the menu. Anyway, they're great, and possibly better than Puro Sabor's.
So, short version:
Of the Peruvian places I've tried, Danessi and Puro Sabor stand out in my mind. Puro Sabor's strengths: fried seafood, ceviche delicate sauces on pumpkin, brilliant unfermented chicha, pretty much, and pretty much genius all around. Lomo saltado and beef heart skewers were relatively dull. Danessi's strengths: meat. Grilled meat. Genius lomo saltado of balance and wonder.
Both stand sigifincantly above Mario's and Los Balcones in my book, which, in turn, stand significantly above all other Peruvian places I've yet tried (excluding wood-fired chicken specialty places, which have a ranking of their own.)
I should do a longer comparison of Peruvian places sometime soon.
Anyway: I'm going back to Danessi this week, such is my hunger. It's wonderful.