Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: La Limeña

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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The area’s Peruvian culture is growing, and more Peruvian restaurants are popping up in Virginia and Maryland. This modest storefront is a soulful spot with vibrant, generous cooking and a familial feeling.

Owner Emma Perez is gradually transforming her strip-mall hole in the wall into the low-key Peruvian bistro she has long dreamed of running. The result is a place where sophisticated and casual mix comfortably, where you can opt for elegant surf (a stunning tiradito, its slices of marinated raw fish fanned atop vivid yellow-pepper purée) or homey, hearty turf (a juicy strip steak topped with a fried egg and flanked by potatoes and oiled rice).

What to get: Anticuchos, skewered, marinated beef hearts; ceviche garnished with soft sweet potatoes and salty fried corn kernels; causa, squares of soft-cooked potato stuffed with chicken salad and avocado; fried whole trout with sliced garlic; aji de gallina, shredded chicken mixed with egg, olives, garlic, and white wine, served over rice; papa rellena, lightly fried potato stuffed with seasoned meat.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

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