7 Of The Best Lomo Saltados In LA
Ceviche and papas a la huancaína may be the national dishes of Peru but the country's most popular culinary export is lomo saltado. The roots of this dish -- a glorious mishmash of marinated beef, french fries and white rice -- come from the chifa tradition, a fusion of Andean culture and the recipes of Chinese migrants who came to Peru in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Starchy, beefy and satisfying, lomo saltado is a comfort food that's easy to love and, fortunately for us, easy to find. Here are seven exceptional versions of the dish in in Los Angeles.
Five years into its run, Misky Misky remains a favorite among West Covina residents. Named (twice) for the Quechua word for "delicious," the ambitious eatery honors its namesake with modern, elegantly plated spins on cocina peruana (Peruvian cuisine). It may seem extravagant to spend $17.50 on beef and rice but you won't find better lomo saltado in the San Gabriel Valley. Filet mignon and red onions are wok-fried in a tangy yellow ají sauce and served with a hillock of arroz graneado (rice seasoned with minced garlic). Traditional? Not exactly. Delicious? Absolutely.
125 N. Fairway Ln., West Covina. 626-966-0600.
Blink while you drive through Canyon Country's main thoroughfare and you'll miss this jewel buried behind a Starbucks. Rosarito Grill is the passion project of owners and chefs Enrique and Brenda Casillas. The restaurant's menu, like the Casillas family, reflects two cultures, Mexican and Peruvian. As good as the Mexican caldo de siete mares (fish stew) and menudo are, the Peruvian lomo and tallarin saltados are even better. The steak in the lomo is cut into short, skinny strips and grilled with tomatoes, onions and garlic. The tallarines -- spaghetti dressed the same way as the lomo -- is almost as delicious. Nothing is more satisfying than watching Enrique throw this delicious medley over a pile of salted fries.
19415 Soledad Canyon Rd., Canyon Country. 661-251-2732.
Beautiful Rosaliné, named for chef Ricardo Zarate's Peruvian mother, describes its menu as "inspired by tradition," but that's a bit of misdirection. The most traditional aspect of this Quechuan-influenced restaurant is its family-style, large-plate ethos. Everything else feels hyper-modern. Example 1: the lomo saltado. Zarate sautees (rather than grills) cuts of filet then drapes them with a sunny side-up egg drizzled with soy dressing, all of which he serves with a full leek in a tomato coulis. The results don't look, smell or taste like any classic version of the dish, and in Zarate's hands, that's a good thing.
8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 323-297-9500.
The world would be a better place if every Peruvian restaurant had a section on its menu devoted to saltados. Until then, we have the generous offerings at chef Juana Paz's Puro Sabor. In addition to ribeye, chicken and shrimp versions, Paz has created a deluxe lomo saltado that combines all three proteins. These plates are sizeable and pleasingly greasy, like the best Cuscano street fare. The recipes and decor lean on Incan culture so it's ideal to pair your meal with a housemade Andean favorite, jugo de papaya (a papaya shake).
6366 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys. 818-908-0818.
In the South Bay, Peruvian cuisine is in full force with a slew of great restaurants all within a five-mile radius of one another. The strongest of these contenders is El Rocoto in Gardena. Long favored as an off-the-beaten-path pick, it embodies the chifa tradition, with a Chinese-Peruvian owner and a Cantonese-skewing menu loaded with dishes like tallarin trozos pollo (Peruvian chicken chow mein). That might explain why its lomo saltado, steaming and fragrant in a soy sauce-rich broth, is so excellent. Be warned: The parking lot is usually hectic and street parking isn't easy.
1356 W. Artesia Blvd., Gardena. 310-768-8766.
The humble appearance of El Incomparable belies the greatness of its food, which you can get at two locations. Even for those who live near the Reseda restaurant, finding it in the far corner of an Albertson's parking lot can be a challenge. The lomo saltado -- stir-fried to a light crisp, aggressively spiced with garlic, cilantro and soy, and paired with a mountain of fries made from scratch -- is worth the struggle. As a bonus, El Incomparable also offers the lomo saltado "a lo pobre," roughly translating to "loin for the poor," which ironically adds a crisp fried egg and sweet plantains, making the regular dish even richer.
17003 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. 818-271-2070.
19315 Saticoy St., Unit H, Reseda. 818-585-7506.
Few restaurants have shown the resilience of Lima Limon, a casual dining spot that has been satisfying Valencia suburbanites since 2008. This hole-in-the-strip-mall joint has outlasted supermarkets and liquor stores thanks to signature dishes such as its choclo Peruana (sweet, cheesy corn) and tacu-tacu (garbanzos and rice, Peruvian-style). The lomo saltado here is sublime, with unusually rare steak served alongside a sharp ají that creates a deep, satisfying umami richness as it merges with the meat. Try pairing the lomo with the housemade white wine sangria, a sweet, citrusy counterpoint to the beef.
26845 Bouquet Canyon Rd., Valencia. 661-297-6714.
Cruise off the highway and hit locally-known spots for some tasty bites.
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