Cheap Eats 2015: La Limeña

Where we get our favorite tilapia.
The dining room at La Limeña in Rockville, Maryland. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Walking in, you’d think it were some quick-serve pollo a la brasa joint. You take a seat. The tables are wedged in tight. The door swings open, producing a draft. Not promising. But then you settle into the tastes of this passionate Peruvian kitchen. There’s tiradito, its strips of tilapia fanned out like the petals of an orchid. Next up, a degustation of causa, four canapés of whipped potato topped delicately with crabmeat, shrimp, shredded chicken, and tuna. To drink: caipirissima, a heady cocktail of rum and lime that’s so vividly green it invites you to kick back and fantasize about faraway climes. It’s remarkable to find so much color, drama, and flavor in a single package, particularly when that package is so tiny and so inexpensive.

Cuisine: Peruvian

Where you can find it: 765 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-424-8066

Also good: Aji de gallina, a dish of shredded chicken, garlic, and olives; fried trout with rice; ceviche; shrimp soup.

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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.