Best Peruvian Restaurant - 2008
The Japanese aren't the only ones who know how to eat raw fish. They taught the habit to the Peruvians, only instead of dainty little rolls, our southern neighbors serve their lime-marinated ceviche on a platter the size of your head, with side dishes the Japanese would snort at: corn and potatoes. At Las Totoritas those vegetables come in lots of variations, from cobbed to boiled to something like semolina in the case of corn. Totoritas' ceviche mixto — a pile of shrimp, tilapia, and squid rings enlivened with chopped aji peppers and onions — is best eaten family-style (i.e., with about 10 of your closest friends and relatives). On weekends the pipe player/guitarist will be tuning up in an alcove while you pop kernels of the crunchy pan-fried chulpa corn between your teeth and ponder whether you'd prefer loma saltado with tacu-tacu or shrimp chaufas. Sound exotic and confusing? Yes, for the first two or three visits. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find yourself embraced by the family that runs the place (before you know it they'll be pressing alfajores on you as you slip out the door) and you'll have developed a taste for marinated fish that won't quit.