100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 65 La Limeña

The dining room at La Limeña in Rockville, Maryland. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

A resort hotel with a view of the water can be transporting, sure. But let’s face it, an adventurous soul can find transport in a lot of places. Even, yes, in a strip mall off Rockville Pike. Spend a couple of hours in the company of Emma Perez’s colorful and carefully prepared Peruvian food and see if your senses aren’t restored.

The kitchen here manages to avoid heaviness even in its heartiest preparations of lamb and beef. The lamb shank is excellent; ditto the lomo saltado. But the emphasis is on the piscatory, and not to get at least one of the various preparations—whether nearly raw, as in the gorgeous treatments of tiradito, or fried, such as a crispy whole trout—is like going to hear Tony Bennett and then walking out on the ballads.

Don’t miss:

  • Papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a cheese-and-yellow-pepper sauce)
  • Ceviche
  • Aji gallina, a shredded-chicken stew with garlic and olives
  • Alfajores (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche)

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.