More lovely Peruvian hybridization
5163 Venice Blvd. (west of La Brea)
Phone: 323-936-4444 | map
I keep doing this to myself, but I'm quite happy. It is a well-known equation: the productivity of a workday after lunch is inversely proportional to the level of Peruvian food involved.
It's easy to race by this little spot, hidden in a corner mall along a wide stretch of Venice Blvd. on your way elsewhere. The building is painted-over brick, the interior oddly glass-walled as if a travel agency suddenly decided to become an eatery. A small television shows salsa videos. A dignified Japanese man or woman may take your order, and can break out the Spanish if need be.
I don't often see this, since the word "lomo" gets tossed around a lot, but I rather like the Pescado Saltado. Like the lomo and pollo versions, the main feature is sizzled in an iron pan with slivers of red onion, tomato and french fries until the meter reaches "sodden and sleepy."
The pescado here is fish strips, once breaded and fried and probably crisp, now wrinkled and surrendered to the sauce. The tomato is nearly nonexistent, but the fries are numerous and explosive with flavor.
There is something about how Peruvian cuisine handles the interaction between chicken and firewood. The Combo #4 (1/4 pollo con tortilla) is plain-clothed, but! The chicken! It gives Pollo A La Brasa on Western serious competition. Brilliantly dark with spices, bright and full-flavored, as if it had been fraternizing with a pair of duck flight attendants in a jacuzzi of pork drippings.
While you're dealing with that florid ornithological simile, I can tell you that the mild-looking frijol is a cup of thickly rendered pinto beans, and incredibly tasty. Incredibly. Enough to make one pause and think on it. There is also a calm ensalada and a bebida that come with this deal.
Adam, who found this joint and is not easily impressed: Not just good. It's surprisingly awesome.
For dashing over everything a gaggle of squeeze bottles huddles on your table, including mustard, ketchup, a good, hot chipotle mayonnaise, and a fairly tame aji sauce with a patient spice somewhere in its verdant paleness.
Pollo el Brasero #3 is closed on Mondays, may or may not be cash only, and may or may not be open until 6 on weekdays, 7 on weekends, and may slip into closure early.
Do I add to the Peruvian Tally? This is a tough one. The list is getting extensive, and this is also a rotisserie joint. But what the hell.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Peruvian, Santa Monica/Culver City, Mid-City/Crenshaw/Jefferson Park )
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