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Many of my events have focused primarily on Asian cuisines (especially Chinese), so for 2013, I've decided to mix things up a bit more by hosting events offering cuisines from around the world. One of the most popular cuisines in Los Angeles for the past couple of years has been Peruvian. Before Picca and Mo Chica (the location in Downtown LA) opened, a place to go for a more upscale dining experience has been Los Balcones del Peru. Last year, Los Balcones renovated their dining area, making it more contemporary. In addition, a ceviche bar has been installed as well. Both Robert and Abby have hosted events here before, with Abby capturing her experience in her blog: http://pleasurepalate.blogspot.com/2006/11/los-balcones-del-peru-recently-i.html
I chose Los Balcones del Peru because it was highly recommended by a friend of mine, Carlos, who was born in Lima, and was one of the chefs at the pop-up, O + S Sweet Creations, where Robert hosted a few events last year. Carlos enjoys dining here so much that he's pretty much of a regular. So, now that I'm more adventurous with trying out cuisines I have rarely or have never tried, let's give this place a try and sample some of their ceviche.
Foodblogger Joshua Lurie of FoodGPS.com wrote about Los Balcones for BlackboardEats.com:
"Last year, Jorge Rodriguez, chef-brother Walter, and their family took the concept at their restaurant—a showcase of Lima’s signature interior balconies—to another level, with a modern redesign that replaced the mounted faux miniatures with a photo of that city’s historic colonial core. They also added a sleek, brick-backed area that draws a young crowd and—even better—a host of blackboard specials. No matter what you order, though, each meal begins with a metal pail of sweet potato chips accompanied by piquant cilantro-flecked aji verde—a nice on-the-house greeting. The native Peruvian grain quinoa appears in a salad of asparagus, bacon bits, and maracuyá and sesame seed dressing—all sharing a bowl with an oozing poached egg and starchy, hominy-like choclo. Peru’s mildy hot, yellow aji amarillo sauce blankets the silky sea bass (tiradito), and a creamy shrimp chowder (chupe de camarones) also comes with a bit of a kick. If you want to stay Peruvian to the end, by all means order the mazamorra morada—rice pudding made with an Andean grain called kiwicha, enriched with dried apricots, raisins, and prunes—that’s sweetened by a jam-like rendition of the purple-corn drink chicha morada.
Chupe de camarones
Lomo saltado (stir-fry of steak with onion and tomatoes)
Mazamorra morada with kiwicha
[Los Balcones’ redesign of their dining room included the introduction] of ceviche, with the seafood appearing under glass as in a sushi bar. The redesign was completed at the beginning of 2012."
You can check out the complete menu here: http://losangeles.menupages.com/restaurants/los-balcones-del-peru/menu
Yelp reviewers give Los Balcones an average rating of 4.0 Stars out of 5.0 from over 375 reviews. You can read those reviews here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/los-balcones-del-per%C3%BA-hollywood-2
The anticipated cost per person here is about $25 to $40, depending on how much food you order, any beverages, plus tax and 18% gratuity. As such, please bring at least $60 in CASH to settle your portion of the bill (small bills preferred). Validated valet parking and street parking are available. I will contact the restaurant for the cost of valet parking. For street parking, be sure to read the street signs for any parking restrictions, especially if you need to feed the meter when parked at a metered space. We will meet in the of the restaurant about 5 to 10 minutes before our 7:30pm reservation time. As always, please call or text me if you arrive before I do, or are running late or are lost.