At the foot of Angel’s Flight (next to the Grand Central Market) – where the modern downtown LA meets the historic part of LA – you’ll find Chef Mario Alberto Orellana’s newest Peruvian eatery: Chimu Peruvian Soul Food. I’ve been to his other restaurants that he’s worked at in the area, Mo Chica and Lazy Ox Canteen, but I think this fast take-out place may be my favorite of the three. Read on and you’ll see why.
Chimu Peruvian Soul Food opened over the summer to some great reviews. One of the members of my brunch club told us about it and we made a trek there on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
So what is Peruvian soul food? I asked the guy at the order window and he said it’s everyday Peruvian food that you’d eat with the family if you lived in Peru. After one bite, I admit I could eat Peruvian soul food everyday!
The menu is written on a chalkboard so I assume it can change but here’s what was being served on the day we went:
I ordered the lomo saltado – a typical Peruvian dish that is Asian inspired. It’s marinated beef, onions, and tomatoes with a hint of soy sauce served over frites and with a side of white rice and the traditional aji sauce.
The beef was juicy and had the right amount of marination. It was cooked perfectly! Here’s the vegetarian version that my friend, Jin, ordered…
My other brunch companion, Gregory, ordered the seco de cordero (lamb belly) and he was kind enough to share with us.
Lamb is pretty tricky to cook. Sometimes it can come out really gamey but not this dish. You could taste the flavor of the lamb meat but it was seasoned well and was not over-cooked – definitely rich in flavor.
I’ve only been here once and I’m already planning on what I want to eat next time I go back – I think that’s a good sign, right?
Note: It is a walk-up window but you do have a lovely outdoor space to eat at. Check out the view we had:
** UPDATE: Chimu is now CLOSED. I went there on Nov 1 and signs were gone and somebody who worked for the property said Chimu closed their doors but Silverlake’s Local will be opening there in a week. Restaurant business is rough! **