A Quiet Peruvian Spot on Brand
230 N. Brand Blvd.
Phone: 818-956-5888 | map
Peruvian is getting to be a real comfort food for me, but then pretty much all South American cuisine is not going to offend me on any level. On Brand there's Mamita, which I've yet to try, and Lola's near the Alex Theatre.
Lola's is small and intimate, with a large dark wooden bar looming over the room; there looks to be a buffet along the back wall during lunch hours, but honestly it looks a little tired. Go for the great lunch specials instead. They'll bring you a basket with some light, airy bread and a dish of creamy aji sauce which is not lip-searing but has a pleasant kick.
The pollo saltado is good: dark meat chicken fried in a pan with wedges of red onion, served with white rice and large square-cut fries lying underneath like timbers to soak up the wonderful juices. The dishes at Mario's are more robust, but you can return to work and be functional after eating at Lola's. That may or may not be your desired effect.
They also do wood-rotisserie chicken, and have been written up in food magazines for it. The media pollo is juicy and tender. I had that with a Russian salad, which is basically potato salad with peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans, all the things you hate to see served to you when you're a kid but are probably okay with now. Still, I think I'll try one of the other sides next time.
To drink I happily, giddily recommend a chicha morada, made from purple corn, which I know sounds really not very awesome, but tastes like a refreshing hibiscus punch. I promise you.
I'm told their chicken and steak are better than their ceviche, but I will let you know if I find out differently. Let's see, what else... what's this? Fried yucca with huancaina sauce? What's that about? I must go see.
Lola's also has a counter-order place on Victory in Van Nuys.
The Peruvian count:
Mario's: Best Chance for Being Carted Home in a Basket
Los Balcones del Perú: Classiest Place for Making Yourself Useless
Lola's: Best Chicha Morada
Mamita: Most tongue-spanking Aji sauce
Peru's Taste: Most savory sauces
Puro Sabor: Best Lomo Saltado
Choza Mama: Most comfortably home-style
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Glendale/Atwater/Eagle Rock, Peruvian )
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