When it comes to foreign cuisine, I am willing to eat anything and everything and most of the time I end up loving it and enjoy a "foreign adventure" without leaving California. Today, Saturday, May 12, 2018, I enjoyed lunch with my friend Ben Soper, and got my first taste of Peruvian cuisine at La Huaca, in Roseville, one of a handfull of Peruvian restaurants in the greater Sacramento area.
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: La Huerca is located in a new, upscale shopping center, in east Roseville, also known as Granite Bay. On this mid Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, we're ready to enjoy a Peruvian lunch.
Photo: As you walk in, you're greeted by a "Please Wait to Be Seated" sign, as you look into the lively main dining room. We were seated by the charming manager, Ana Freitas, who seated us, at our request, at a table in the rear of the dining room, near the windows. Editor's note: I made the "call," as windows offer better light for photos.
Photo: The main dining room is colorful, cheerful, and squeaky clean. At 2:30 on this Saturday afternoon, the restaurant wasn't busy, as we were enjoying lunch between the early lunch and the dinner crowd. My friend Ben is sitting at our table at the far end of the restaurant, near the window.
Note the paintings on the wall that depict some of the famous Nazca Lines, which are a series of ancient geoglyphs, visible from an airplane, when you're flying over the Nazca desert, in southern Peru.
Photo: Off to the side, there's a full service bar and a dining room that is used mostly for large groups, as the group in the dining room today. Note the gallon wine jugs on the wall, filled with colored water, which makes a colorful display. I found it interesting that 1960's and '70's rock 'n roll music was playing, including tunes such as "Sweet Caroline, "Sweet Home Alabama," and other vintage classics. In a Peruvian restaurant, none the less...
Photo: As we were pondering the menu, we decided to order a beer, as my friend and I are both beer drinkers. I've never enjoyed Peruvian beer before, so this was a new experience for me, albeit and expensive one at $5.95 for a bottle of beer! I ordered a "Cristal" which is a lager, and my friend ordered a "Cusqueņa," which is much more robust in taste. I definitely enjoyed the beer, and the new experience, and although the cold beer was delicious, I didn't find it anything special, and I'll most likely never order it again.
Photo: One half of the lunch menu. I have never enjoyed Peruvian food before, and it all looked delicious - I love everything - but I had no idea of what to order, except that I wanted to enjoy the quintessential "standard" dish of the Peruvian nation. I could have asked the staff, but I asked my friend, Ben, as he has actually lived in Peru, is a "foodie," and knows the culture, language and cuisine.
I put to him this way: "If I was a Peruvian, who had never been to United States, nor eaten American cuisine, and I wanted the most classic, "American" standard, what I order? A hamburger and fries, of course." He replied with "Lomo Saltado," so that's what I ordered.
Photo: Meet super-friendly Ana Freitas, who is the catering manager at the restaurant, and the friendly face who "meeted us and seated us." She is working at a small bar, which serves the main dining room. We enjoyed her wonderful company.
Photo: Shortly after placing our orders, appetizers arrived in the form of two rolls and a small bowl of chimichurri sauce. I had never enjoyed this wonderful condiment before, and it was amazing. It gives a whole new meaning to parsley.
Photo: Our friendly server, Julian, brings our lunch to the table. This gentleman treated us well, always with something say, with a smile on his face. Our lunch arrived about 15 minutes after placing our order, which makes for fast service.
Photo: My friend Ben Soper and I grin, as we're ready to enjoy a great lunch. I took Ben's recommendation and ordered Lomo Saltado, and we ordered identical lunches and beer. In the end, that made it really easy to split the bill.
Photo: My lunch of Lomo Saltado was served on a rectangular platter, which made for an attractive presentation. The menu describes Lomo Saltado as, "Top beef tenderloin cuts, sauteed with light soy sauce and vinegar, onions and tomato wedges, served with a side of garlic white rice and fries." I describe it as delicious.
This was a new dining experience for me, and I'd been looking forward to visiting this restaurant for weeks since my friend and I had been talking about it. At first I wondered, "Where's the beef...?," but it was tucked away under the onion and tomato, and there was lots of it. It was thinly sliced, marinated in soy sauce, and so tender that a knife wasn't needed. The garlic rice reminded me of Jasmine rice, which - besides Mexican or Chinese fried rice - is my favorite variety of rice. The fries... oh the fries! Simply amazing!
My lunch of Lomo Saltado was a delicious, new dining experience, and I am now happy to let the whole world know that I'm a lover of the delicious Peruvian cuisine, served at La Huerca.
The food is amazingly delicious, the meal is filling, he dining room is comfortable, and the staff are super friendly, and actually welcome photos, and a write-up on Facebook and this web site. Editor's note: I told them it's free advertising, which is really is. My first taste of Peruvian cuisine turned out to be a success, so now I can brag about another wonderful variety of food that I enjoy.
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