Peruvian sea scallops
Kanpachi, yellowtail and yellowtail ceviche
Pumpkin spice old fashioned for Thanksgiving!
**** (4 stars)
Very good sushi with a slight Peruvian spin, such as the sauces used for the sashimi preparations. Fish quality was good, and service was friendly. Chill vibe.
SUSHISAMBA – Las Vegas
3327 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV
***** (5 stars)
This latest location in the Pio Pio chain takes over a nice space in the Publix shopping center that was previously a mediocre BBQ place. Pio Pio is much better.
I love their rotisserie chicken, which always has a delicious golden brown crust. It comes with rice, beans, and plantains. The quarter chicken is surprisingly small, so you may want to get the half chicken. Both are very reasonably priced.
Not so reasonably priced, but also delicious, is the ceviche ($18). It’s a Peruvian style ceviche, (which is a bit confusing since the restaurant is often listed as Colombian).The Mixto version combines raw white fish and cooked shrimp with onions and lots of lime juice. It’s served with the traditional mutant(!) corn, and also cracked corn kernels.
Service was excellent.
By the way, they also have whole rotisserie chickens to go at very reasonable prices. They’re way better than the ones next door at Publix.
Pio Pio Restaurant
2588 Maguire Rd
Ocoee, FL 34761
**** (4 stars)
Tanta provides a modern take on traditional Peruvian cuisine in an upscale, trendy environment.
We went for brunch, but mostly ordered non-brunch items.
The causa is a deconstructed version of the Peruvian classic, with the ingredients arrayed along a plate rather than stacked, but the flavors adhere closely to the classic dish.
There are several varieties of ceviche, depending upon the type of fish and whether you want a lime or creamier base.
All three empanadas were excellent, and each person in our party had a different favorite, so it’s worth trying them all.
The quinoa salad was refreshing, but not a show-stopper.
One of my favorite items was from the brunch menu, it was chicken on top of an egg “tortilla.” The accompanying sauce was reminiscent of a sweet Thai chili sauce.
There’s an interesting list of cocktails, topped by a fragrant take on the classic pisco sour.
Pricing is reasonable, and service is attentive, even when they are bustling (which seems to be all of the time).
118 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
**** (4 stars)
This is not an easy place to find. It’s inside the Renaissance building, on the second floor, and the only obvious signage is a temporary sign on the sidewalk behind the building, and another at the base of the stairs inside.
But it’s worth the effort to locate it. We were personally greeted by the owner and immediately made to feel welcome as he explained the menu.
We started with the Causa De Roca, an attractive stack of seasoned mashed potatoes mixed with yellow peppers, layered with tomato and avocado, and topped with Shrimp and a sauce made of mayonnaise and ketchup with blackened seasoning, lime and cilantro. It was delicious.
It seemed only logical to order the lunch dish called Mr. Cebiche, and that was a good move. The mixture of white fish “cooked” in lime juice was served ice cold, and my wife declared it the best ceviche she’s had outside of Peru.
My lunch was also good, the Tacu Tacu, consisting of Stir-Fried Rice with Beans topped with onions and tomatoes marinated in lime juice.
The interior of the restaurant is charming, and very clean. Many of the tables have a nice view of the shopping street below. It can be a challenge to park in Mount Dora, but there is a well-disguised public parking structure two blocks to the south.
411 N Donnelly St
Ste 212, 2nd Fl
Mount Dora, FL 32757
**** (4 stars)
Southwest Orange County needs more restaurant diversity, so it’s great to see Peruvian cuisine come to the neighborhood. Hopefully it will last longer than the previous restaurants in this space.
We tried El Inka for lunch, and everyone liked their selections, which ranged from chicken to steak lunch specials. I ordered the Ceviche Mixto from the regular menu, because the best ceviche I ever tasted was in a restaurant in Lima, Peru.
The ceviche was a very generous assortment of fish, shrimp, octopus and squid in an extremely limey broth. I think next time I would try one of the chef’s special ceviches instead, to see if the broths are more complex. At $17 it was a rather expensive lunch; I wish the ceviche was available in an appetizer size.
Service was very speedy, so it made a great choice for lunch. The place is already quite popular, and because the stylish interior has no acoustic treatments it can be quite loud.
We all agreed we would like to return soon and try more of this interesting cuisine.
El Inka Grill
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819