Finally satisfied my curiosity about this small Peruvian place in Union Square. I went with 3 other people, E, C, and A. Before writing the rest, I should say that I've never had Peruvian food before and I can't remember the Spanish names of the dishes we had except for one. A. and I had the lomo saltado (thanks to El Guapo for the suggestion), which is beef marinated in lime and beer stir fried with onions, tomatoes, and french fries topped with fresh cilantro and served with white rice. The beef was a bit tough, but the cilantro gave a nice kick of flavor every once in a while. The fries, inevitably soggy, were a great unique treat with the rest of the meal. E. had a beef shank with a mess of beans that "tasted like the meat smelled, which is delicious!" It also came with white rice. C. had what looked and tasted like fried rice with beef, tomatoes, and onions. A. was brave enough to try the heart appetizer and I must admit that it looked really good. There were about a dozen slices of thinly sliced heart pieces that seemed tender and flavorful. The dish came with a thick slice of boiled potato and two sauces, one spicy and one cool. A. enjoyed both. C. had an appetizer of cold, spiced thickly sliced boiled potatoes covered in a mild cheese sauce. We were alarmed by the color and texture of the cheese (kind of like a very runny Velveeta), but it was quite tasty! It was not cheesy in taste-more like a creamy contrast to the potatoes.
Before I went, I read a review from the Globe from when the place first opened. It said, "new heights in bad service are attained here." Fortunately, that was not the case at all with us. Our server was friendly, patient, and helpful and appreciated the fact that we liked spices.
Although I want to return (and try the ceviche), there are a few possibly negative things to note: 1. The entrees came out as they were ready, not together. That didn't bother any of us, but I know it bothers some people. 2. It's a pretty small space with not a lot of "atmosphere." Again, none of us cared about that. 3. If you go, choose to sit at any table away from the door because there's no buffer between you and the cold when it opens. 4. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to the bill for parties of 4 or more. Unfortunately, we didn't catch this until after we got home and looked at the takeout menu, so the server got a huge tip from us. Before we added the extra 15%, our bill came to $74. That included 2 appetizers, 4 entrees, 3 bottles of beer, a glass of passionfruit juice, and the 15% gratutity.
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