6366 Van Nuys Blvd. (@ Victory Blvd., in Van Nuys)
Phone: 818-908-0818 | map
Tucked amid the boulevard of cellphone stores, cigarette retailers, Ritmo Latino, pawnshops and Payless is this cleanly decorated haven: walls of peach and green, butterscotch tablecloths and strumming folk guitar.
Everything is multidimensionally crave-worthy. Even the bread roll is simultaneously crispy, light, hollow with air and freshness, and crunchy; it begs for butter and generous squeezes of pale green aji sauce, which itself is throat-hackingly spicy.
Puro Sabor's saltado de lomo y camarones is less likely to create a persistent vegetative state than Mario's or Mamita, but I rate it higher on the culinary expertise scale. Its steak is almost tender enough to crush with the tongue, the shrimps blossoming, all simmered with tomato, red onion and french fried potatoes, sodden with honest juices.
If you love me, do get the platano frito: wondrous slices of plantain, caramelized to paradisiacal proportions, soft and sweet with a very slight crisp to the skin.
To drink, the chicha morada is rich, thicker than most, and sweet like sangria.
There's actually a parking lot in back, which will make you bite your lip in indecision. Try the metered parking along Van Nuys. Puro Sabor is open 9 to 9 daily.
The Peruvian reckoning:
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), Peruvian, The Valley )
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