Where do you go when you get a hankering for Peruvian food? With South Florida’s unbearable heat making locals and visitors sweat up a storm, there are few things as refreshing as enjoying a nice ceviche and pisco sour in Hollywood.
When that craving for tasty Peruvian fare strikes, the neighborhood has you covered with a variety of restaurants serving up some of Broward’s best bites. Here’s just a small taste of the many Peruvian restaurants that Hollywood has to offer:
We’ve featured this eatery in past blogs and for good reason — it’s delicious. Arguably one of the neighborhood’s most well-known Peruvian establishments, Runas features no shortage of South American specialties for guests to devour. The first thing you’ll notice: the sheer size of the menu. Think of a dish, and it’s incredibly likely you’ll find it on the menu.
Our suggestion: Order a little bit of everything. The menu is varied, so there’s ample opportunity to not only savor favorites like anticuchos de mariscos (seafood skewers) and lomo saltado (beef stir-fry), but also a few out-of-the-box items. Runas’ ravioli aji la gallina is a flavorful take on the pasta with Peruvian chicken in a yellow-chili puree. Another interesting selection: the Passion Roll, which fuses fried shrimp, cream cheese, mango, sweet potato and sesame seeds.
Those last two items aren’t something you’d traditionally try at a Peruvian restaurant, but it’s these creative offerings that help Runas stand out from being another restaurant in a crowded scene.
La Huaca may be just a few blocks from Runas, but it deserves just as much of the spotlight as its neighbor. The open-kitchen format gives the eatery a homey feel; it’s humanizing to see the culinary team hard at work crafting La Huaca’s tasty specialties, of which there are many. This is one of those restaurants where the food looks as good as it tastes.
Plating is exceptional, and you’ll find yourself constantly reaching for your phone to capture the colors and beauty. Experience it yourself: Order items like the jalea a la huaca and the ceviche cocktail and try not to take a photo — the urge is unavoidable. Another thing that diners are sure to enjoy: the specials. The restaurant is constantly running lunch specials and other promotions, which your bank account will thank you for.
Over on the water is Pachamanka Authentic Peruvian Cuisine, another notable eatery serving up the country’s famed food. If you thought Runas had a big menu, you haven’t seen anything yet. Pachamanka features an array of fare that should please even those with picky palates.
While you could come here with your better half or a friend, it’s probably best you come in a large group so you can actually make a dent in the menu. Seriously, there’s so much food to be had, including delicious causas (Peruvian mashed potatoes) with shrimp along with cau cau (beef tripe), mixed seafood ceviche and fried fish nuggets.
Speaking of ceviche, there’s plenty to choose from. Not in the mood for the mixed seafood version? Stick to the tried-and-true fish ceviche or shrimp ceviche. There’s also the black shellfish ceviche if you want something a little less simple. No matter what you choose, you’re in for a treat; this is some fresh seafood
Warning: Because there are a ton of selections on the menu, it can be easy to overeat. Although it’s tempting to order a ton of food, keep your appetite in check as you’ll want to save room for dessert. Unlike the vast savory menu, the dessert list is quite a bit shorter — but no less delectable. Since you’re at a Peruvian restaurant, expect to see a lot of lucuma. Diners who’d rather avoid the fruit can opt for the restaurant’s signature alfajores to end their meal on a sweet note. There’s no wrong choice.
J28 is another Miami Food Pug favorite. We’ve sang its praises before, and we aren’t stopping anything soon. Unlike the other restaurants on this list, J28 is a bit more casual (hence the name); you can eat in or grab and go. Sandwiches galore can be found here, including Peruvian favorites like aji de gallina and lomo saltado. Guests cutting down on carbs can enjoy their proteins sans bread courtesy of J28’s quinoa bowls; the chicken saltado wok stir-fry is a must.
Another great thing about J28 is its sauce bar. Load up on black mint, amarillo, rocoto and other sauces to complement your selection. Each one will set you back about a dollar, but it’s a dollar well spent. Now that it’s summer, don’t miss out on the paletas — lucuma, chirimoya, and chicha will help you get through these hot days.
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Geoffrey Anderson Jr.