dessert fried chicken fried rice Peruvian reviews Southern California

Mario’s and MILK

We just spent another long weekend in SoCal, where we amazingly escaped the oppressive 100+ heat of the Bay Area for much more manageable high 80s/low 90s temperatures (and 70s overnight). My wife had to work Thursday and Friday, so we didn’t get to visit a couple places that were on our list, but we did get to revisit some old favorites.

On Thursday, we went back to Mario’s Peruvian and Seafood Restaurant in Hollywood and fell in love with the place again. I tried the Arroz Chaufa, a simple Peruvian fried rice with beef, green onions, and scrambled eggs that didn’t look like much on the plate, but when you eat it, the flavors really jump out at you. It’s probably because the dish also included MSG, which I’ve got no issues with since it makes everything taste better. Thank you, Ajinomoto, for your umami-enhancing seasoning.

Arroz Chaufa

After Mario’s, I was set on going to Pinkberry for dessert, but I seemed to be the only one. My friend Alfie suggested that we go to MILK. Alfie lives nearby, and she’s become such a regular that MILK chef/owner Bret Thompson greets her whenever she drops by. We got to meet him when we were there, and he’s a really cool, laid-back guy.

I wasn’t able to order for myself since I was trying to find parking (probably MILK’s only drawback), but my wife made some great choices. She picked up a Grasshopper, an amazing ice cream sandwich featuring mint chip ice cream between two huge mint-flavored macarons and dipped in chocolate.


She also got the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Bar, a vanilla ice cream bar on a stick that’s dipped and coated in chocolate and Oreos.

Cookies and Cream Bar

It’s hard not to come down to LA and spend all of our limited eating time at either Mario’s or MILK, but both places are so good that they demand repeat visits. But this was just day one of our trip, and we were still planning a trip back to The Oinkster.

Peruvian reviews Southern California

Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood Restaurant

After trying and loving San Francisco’s Mi Lindo Peru, I thought I’d give Peruvian food another shot on a trip back home for the holidays at Mario’s in Hollywood. If you had to judge a restaurant on price/performance ratios, Mario’s would be one of the leaders. The food is cheap, hearty and filling, and more importantly, it’s delicious.

It’s no secret that I like fried eggs. I like it on my fried rice, it’s essential for loco moco, it’s great on a hamburger, and it was also one the stars of my wife’s latest concoctions, the B.E.P. Fried eggs also take a classic dish like Lomo Saltado (marinated steak grilled with tomatoes and onions and topped with french fries) and makes it even better.

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It’s not on the menu, but when I asked for eggs on my Lomo Saltado, the waitress said, “Oh, you want Lomo Montado.” It’s a simple modification and they were happy to make me a plate…with egg yolks oozing all over the rice, french fries and strips of grilled steak, tomatoes and onions.

The other dishes we ordered, my wife’s fried Pescado a la Chorillana and a friend’s Saltado de Mariscos, were also excellent, but obviously, I was preoccupied with my order. I washed it all down with an Inka Cola, a popular Peruvian soda that looks like liquid gold and tastes like bubble gum.

So next time you’re eating Peruvian Food, remember this formula:

Lomo Saltado + Fried Eggs = Lomo Montado


Lomo Montado = happiness.

Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood Restaurant
5786 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038 map

Northern California Peruvian reviews

Mi Lindo Peru

Peruvian food has never really been on my radar, but when my friend told me that her brother in law owned Mi Lindo Peru, I was definitely interested in giving it a try. I really had no idea that Mi Lindo Peru was getting rave reviews on Yelp.

For starters, we ordered the Empanada de Carne, which was really good, but the Chicharron Al Ajo was great. Chicken wings are marinated in garlic and then fried and tossed with more garlic and served with a garlicky dipping sauce. Yeah, it’s a lot of garlic, but it’s not as strong as you might expect and it was an absolutely delicious appetizer. We also ordered some fried plantains that were beautiful and brown and caramelized all over.

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For our entrees, I ordered the Bistek a la Pobre, a top sirloin steak that’s sauteed w/ onions and tomatoes and then topped with a fried plantain and a perfect fried egg on a bed of fragrant rice. My wife ordered the Pollo Oregano, a half chicken roasted in oregano and served with the same delicious rice. It was really good and we ended up using the leftovers in some fried rice we made the next day. Soo Jin ordered a bistek dish similar to mine sans plantain and fried egg, which she loved. This is comfort food at its finest. Their sangria is also excellent.

Mi Lindo Peru is a great place to eat and the prices are reasonable. It’s a small neighborhood restaurant with a laidback vibe and if I lived in San Francisco, I’d definitely go there more often. It’s only about a 5 minute walk from the 24th Street BART station, so if I ever need a fix, at least I won’t have to worry about parking.

Mi Lindo Peru
3226 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110 map
Mi Lindo Peru on Urbanspoon