Is it weird that I can’t eat any restaurant meal without subconsciously conniving to make the recipe ten times better? It must be the ego in me. Or the perfectionist. Or maybe it’s just that I’m so damn picky that it’s hard to satisfy me?
Probably a mixture of all those things.
My bf and I had our 2 year anniversary two weeks ago. We wanted to keep it low key and dine out at a restaurant that wasn’t frilly, super-expensive, and close by.
Cue in Chalan on the Beach, a little Peruvian place around the corner from our apartment. They are famous for their fresh cuviche, amongst other dishes.
Obviously we got the Civiche Mixto (which was OUT OF THIS WORLD, amazing and so fresh). I’m dying to go back just for that dish. Octopus, shrimp, fish, and calamari… oh my!
Then came our entrees, which to be honest, were subpar. My fish dish was BREADED and then smothered in a bland garlic sauce. Super lame, because I thought it was grilled when I ordered it. My bf got the lomo saltado, one of their specialties. It was pretty good, but lacked a little somthin somthin.
Lomo saltado is the national dish of Peru. It was heavily influenced by the Chinese immigrants, or “coolies’ who flocked to Peru in large numbers in the 19th Century to work in mines and sugar plantations – hence the soy sauce and wok. Traditionally, the stir fry is served over french fries and accompanied by white rice. This recipe replaces the potato based fries with yuca and dispenses with the rice altogether.
Fresh tomatoes work best, but if they aren’t in season feel free to sub in chopped tomatoes from a can. Aji Amarillo is not the easiest pepper to find. Habanero, Hungarian Wax Peppers, or Serranos make decent substitutes.