Nice and spicy fare at Peruvian eatery

6 June 2022 - The Acorn

Well-informed foodies probably already know that the country of Peru has been recognized for eight years as the Best Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards.

Even better news for local diners: The Limeña Peruvian Eatery offers the authentic flavors right here in the area, with Chef Joshua Burga at the helm of this dynamic, family-owned and -operated restaurant.

“We chose Thousand Oaks for the restaurant because we know the people here are open to try new food,” said Burga’s dad, Rubin.

Established in 2020 on July 28—Peruvian Independence Day—Limeña survived the pandemic by the grit of this feisty family, with a lovely outdoor patio, to-go menu and tasty, exciting dishes leading greatly to its success.

But now, with sit-in dining as well as the outdoor seating, it’s still Burga’s passion for the thrilling Peruvian flavors that permeate every dish at the eatery—with his family members pitching in to help the Cordon Bleu-educated chef while the employee shortage for most restaurants continues.

Already well-known by local foodies for its amazing woodfired rotisserie chicken (pollo a la brasa), Limeña offers this must-try delicacy in quarter, half and whole piece meals up to family-sized portions of a chicken and-a-half with three sides, easily feeding six to eight people.

Although the secret is in the marinade, Burga said, the zesty, bright, cumin-based coating brings gusto to the dish. Served with a choice of regular and more interesting sides makes this an overall thumbs-up, must-have meal.

Speaking of the sides, those not familiar with Peruvian food might feel more comfortable with the “usual” American offerings like house salad, french fries and white rice. However, those with more daring palates can try the fried yucca or plantains. The yucca fries are not only a delight to look at but offer a crunchy surprise on the inside.

Peruvian food tends to be spiced with a lot of pepper and cumin, and is garlic-based, Burga said. And there is a Chinese influence, so they use woks for stir-frying and add a fiery spiciness that the chef calls the “kiss of the dragon.”

As I can no longer stomach really spicy food, the chef toned down everything except for a few things that were definitely worth powering through, including one of the tastiest hot green sauces I have ever had, as well as a todie for buttermilk-oregano-based ranch-style dressing.

Like several of the Limeña dishes, you won’t find them anywhere else in Southern California, according to Burga’s dad. The chaufa de quinoa plates have become a hit with locals. This quinoa-based, stir-fried dish is prepared specifically for American taste buds in the style of Peruvian fried rice. This unique meal speaks directly to health-conscious customers who prefer quinoa over rice. Paired with a choice of salmon, chicken or vegetables, this dish offers a wow-factor for any guest.

Another specialty, an appetizer called ceviche Limeña, brilliantly presents fresh local halibut tossed in a tangy lime juice sauce with red onions, yams, Peruvian corn and toasted Peruvian corn nuts, which are worth the trip to the restaurant just on their own.

Burga said he created this dish “as a roller coaster of flavors, softness, crunch, sweet and sour, with two different kinds of peppers.”

I definitely enjoyed this ride.

Limeña’s lunch dishes, which offer smaller portions than the dinner menu, and the daily specials are a perfect way to taste the Peruvian flavors at great prices.

When I asked Burga the secret to his fabulous offerings, he simply said,” I put love into every dish.”

Taste the love at Limeña Peruvian

Eatery, which is open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

One last word: Definitely save some room for the lucuma ice cream, a delicious Peruvian tropical fruit dessert that is the pièce de résistance to an overall delightful experience. The beautiful yet simple flavor of this dish alone is enough to bring customers back time and time again.

Source: The Acorn


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