100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: La Limeña


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

About La Limeña


Peruvian, Seafood

Sure, you can find a very good lomo saltado, that happy pileup of marinated tri-tip, onions, and tomatoes over a mound of French fries, and the pollo a la brasa is good, too, but do yourself a favor and suspend your meat-centered menu-gazing when you drop by Emma Perez’s strip-mall storefront. The measure of any good Peruvian restaurant—and this is one—is not in the meats; it’s in its preparations of seafood and potatoes. The best reason to come here is to sup on ceviches and tiraditos—bright, clean treatments of fish and shellfish cooked only with lime juice so as to emphasize the freshness and texture of the product. As befits a culinary culture with more than 700 kinds of potato, the humble spud is well represented, from causa, a kind of potato napoleon, to the papa rellena, an oblong ball of mashed potatoes encasing an empanada-like filling.

Don’t miss: Fried whole trout; aji gallina, a shredded-chicken stew; lamb shank; alfajor cookies.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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 Petworth.

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.