Mario’s Peruvian

I went to this place a while ago but have never been able to go back. I love lomo saltado. I was quite taken aback when I had lomo saltado for the first time. It was at the UCLA dormitory cafeteria. I was really surprised to find that lomo saltado is like a dish my mom makes, minus the tomatoes. I always thought it was just something she made up when another Vietnamese friend was making it one time. So I guess its definitely a Vietnamese thing, but as for the connection to Peru? I know Peru has influences from Asia, specifically China I think. They use soy sauce and stir-fry technique in their cooking.

Anyways, Mario’s Peruvian Seafood makes the best lomo saltado. Its incredibly popular, incredibly crowded, and has incredibly unreasonable hours. I mean it closes at like 8 or 830! After waiting an 45 min-1 hour we finally got a table. To our dismay, they ran out of the bread which you eat with the Aji sauce. We still managed to incorporate the sauce into our dishes, but it wasn’t quite the same.

We started off with ceviche de pescado. I think Peruvian’s make their ceviche different because this ceviche wasn’t like the other kinds I’ve tried. This one was pure lemon, salt, and heat. I was seriously dying for water after every few bites. It was just too lemony for me, but I kept eating it because I’m a fatass.

And now lomo! I just love the combination of my favorite food products: beef, tomatoes, onions, and french fries. How could anyone go wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my mom’s version, but this is definitely a tasty change. This time around, I felt the beef was slighly chewier than how I remember it, but no matter. The rice served with the dish is a bit of a carb overload with all the potatoes. The portion size is way more than enough. I always have leftovers enough for a 2nd meal.

So although my friend and I enjoyed ourselves immensely, our other friend who got the chicken saltado, ended up with terrible food poisoning. What was it? Raw fish perhaps? But we all ate it. The chicken? I had some of that too. I guess we’ll never know. The other 515 people on Yelp did not get food poisoning. I’d love to try the other things on the menu but I go here so infrequently that when I do come here all I want is lomo saltado. Oh FYI, parking is tough!!

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