Cheap Eats 2007: Llajtaymanta

For an indoor place, this storefront Bolivian restaurant feels decidedly outdoors, with gingham table covers, picnic-size tables, and waitresses in lacy white tops and pleated red skirts.

The food is likewise festive and communal. The enrollado mixto is a big plate of thick-sliced meat terrine, sweet and spice-rubbed pork ribs, hominy, pickled vegetables, and a baked potato. There are heaping plates of silpancho, grilled steak topped with two runny fried eggs; fried duck with no fewer than three starches; and breaded fried rabbit in a tangy tomato sauce.

Soups—such as a wine-fortified borracho with beef, peppers, onions, and hard-boiled egg, or a delicate peanut soup with hunks of pot roast, penne pasta, and French fries—are meals in themselves. Even the masterfully light empanadas are supersize; they resemble calzones.

A glass of mocochinchi, a spiced peach tea, is a nice counterbalance to the caloric excess. But if you want to blend in with the other laughing, singing, flirting customers, you might go for a beer.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.