Arrived 5:00 Sunday. We were seated at the back table near kitchen where our 2.5 year old loved the show and said "fire" every few minutes as things flared up. The bread rolls were excellent, oven warm, soft on not too yeasty. There was some delay before our order was taken, maybe 20 minutes, but after the initial delay, service was paced correctly, friendly and not snooty in any way as other postings have commented. We generally do not drink alcohol, so did not sample any. We had Inka Kolas which were similar to A&W cream soda.
We started with the standard Halibut Ceviche which is raw fish "cooked" in lime juice topped with red onions marinated with spicy peppers. This was not generally liked by any of us. Most of the pieces of fish had thick pieces of cartilidge in them which prevented us from being able to swallow the piece and no amount of teeth grinding could cut through it. Normally I would have let the baby try it, but this was an easy path to a choking incident. The onion slaw was like a Kim Chee plus ginger, but with onions instead of cabbage and proved a good compliment with the fish when taken in the same bite, however I found the spiciness too overhelming. This is in no way a criticisim of Fresca, it was our first try at ceviche as we always try to order traditional dishes and we just determined that none of the 6 of us like ceviche.
We also had the Tequenos, which we found to be like a small crab rangoon. The cream cheese filling with crab and shrimp was good, but nothing to get excited about. The Aji dipping sauce was yummy and was similar to a sweet honey mustard sauce.
The best appetizer was the potato coquettes which were perfectly crisped and filled with a sumptuous sweet chili filling. None went to waste. Highly recommeneded.
For our three entrees:
The waiter recommended a steak onion stir fry called Lomo Saltado. This was loved by all and highly recommended. This is uncomplicated and an easy way to make sure that something for the less-adventuresome in your party has something good to eat.
The Pollo a la Brasa was good, but was slightly dry and could have been great if not overcooked. The blend of seasonings reminded us of a dear friend's chicken and turkey recipe she uses from her Puerto Rican heritage. The fries served with is were acceptably limp and mildly greasy like french bistro frites. The side salad and dressing were a nice, non-overbearing comliment. Again this was a less risky option.
The paella was a recommendation from Jse the waiter. It was a large amount of food and more than enough for two. I found it to be delicious, but the presence of mussel and scallop shells turned my wife away as she is not a strong seafood eater. The presence of whole baby squid, minus the familiar calamari breading turn the children away. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was pleased to bring some back to the hotel.
I had considered the seafood chowder, but passed on it. As were heading out, I saw a bowl and it looked wonderful. If I were to return, I would have ordered it.
Total for 6 colas, 3 appetizers and 3 entrees and tip came to $115. I am sure last year's visit to Limon was more and although Fresca is much closer to our Wharf-area hotel, we will go to Limon from now on for Peruvian. It was enjoyable and had we never visited Limon, would be a place we would return, but for all of us, Limon is our favorite of all time and Fresca not in the top 50. I can see why so many like it, it was good, lively and cozy feeling. Limon seemed more snooty last year, but that is their hangup not mine.
Thanks to the hounds who recommeneded Fresca, it was enjoyable, 3 out of 5 stars.
Next up, Burma Super Star this afternoon.
Native SF in Midwest