|Date-Night-Worthy||Good Drinks||Good for Groups|
On a recent Saturday night, the line stretched out the door and customers waited in a cold rain. No bigtime chef is attached to the venture, nothing about the atmosphere even remotely suggests a scene, and the cooking makes no attempt to push boundaries. The draw? The consistency and quality of this small Peruvian strip-mall cafe. Fish is the focus, whether lightly cooked with lime juice (as with the bright and attractive presentations of ceviche or tiradito, the latter a fan of white fish atop a vividly yellow pool of aji-pepper sauce) or fried (most memorably, a whole trout flanked by rice and yuca). Potatoes are transformed into an array of treats, including the papa rellena, with spuds mashed and molded around a mix of raisins and ground beef, and the papa Huancaína, in which a lightly spicy cheese sauce drapes tender squares of steamed potato.
Also good: Anticuchos (skewers of grilled beef heart); lomo saltado; aji de gallina; alfajores (cookies with dulce de leche).