los balcones del peru for dinner and MILK for dessert

Los Balcones Del Peru
1360 Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 871-9600

on the menu...peruvian food!  originally, mario's was the first choice (on vine)...since my friend had heard good things, but never got a chance to try it, so he thought it would be great since we'd both be trying it for the first time.  we arrived, saw it was open...parked, walked up, and the closed sign was up and the doors were locked.  they closed at 8 pm...we were standing in front of the door at 8:01 pm.  wth?!  haha  ok...so of course we had no choice but to leave and look for another restaurant.  next choice, los balcones del peru...we were just praying it didn't close at 8:15 or we'd be SOL...again!  luckily for us, they closed at 9 pm.  so we had 1/2 an hour! 

we quickly looked over the menu and after a few questions we decided on our dishes.  to start...a half plate of the ceviche mixto.

the mixto was comprised of fish (unspecified white fish), shrimp, squid and octopus.  you can also see we got half a white potato and in the back, half a sweet potato.  and to the side some peruvian corn kernals.  we requested the dish to be spicy...and they really brought the heat!  let me tell you!  two days in a row of tongue burning goodness!!  i asked what they used for the spiciness, and it was from the rocoto pepper.  these peppers are cultivated in boliva and peru and is aka locoto in bolivia.  these are one of the oldest known peppers dating back to the incas!  i never knew that!  its red and looks like a bell pepper.  (just a little food trivia)

back to the cevich...it was really delicious!  the flavors were so well balanced, the citrus and the spicesness...the thinly sliced red onions, were just perfect...i love how there's always still just a little bite to it, and it went so well with the ceviche.  the potatoes were well cooked, still a bit firm, but not super mushy.  the sweet potato was much softer, but just like its name, it was so sweet and delicious...i was hoping it would help take some of the heat off our tongues...but truly, nothing could help us at that moment.  our mouths were on fire, but of course, we couldn't stop eating.  the half plate portion was perfect for us because we both had some hearty dinners coming.  sadly they didn't have any french bread to serve us with that yummy green sauce, which i still need to learn the name of...but we had a side of it to go with our meal.

but wait!  i wanted to talk about the corn kernals!

i don't think this pictures does it justice, but those kernals were ginormous!!  omg!  i've never seen such large kernals.  if you look to the right and see the shrimp tail, you can see how big the kernals are!  it wasn't super sweet per se, but you definitely tasted more starch.  i just really liked the look of it and would like to incorporate into a dish one day.  really fun food. 

time for meat!  (is it just me? or does it seem like i'm always eating meat?  haha)

my friend ordered the Bisteck a lo Pobre
this is a 12 oz grilled steak topped with a fried egg, banana and a side of french fries or salad and steamed rice.  an 8 oz portion is also available.  i believe this had the aji amarillo sauce...which was slightly spiced.  but i didn't get a chance to taste just the sauce, but i was told it was really delcious.  that whole steak was devoured.

ok, now its time for my meat dish...Lomo Saltado

beef sauteed with onions, tomatoes, french fries and teamed rice.  i loved the combination of the onions and tomatoes with the beef.  there was so much "sauce" from the juices of the meat and tomatoes, that it absorbed into my rice. (love that!)  the flavors were clean and just good.  i actually dipped my meat in the green sauce and that extra boost of cumin flavor was really terrific on the meat.  my only complaint would be that i felt my meat was a bit over cooked, and i would in the future request that they cook it medium rare if possible.  but over all, i thought it was a great basic dish, well seasoned and something i could eat all the time.  i would in the future get some salad also...just because i want to make sure i have a balance of protein and fiber. 

i loved the little mom and pop feel of the restaurant, the staff (which i assume was the owners) were super friendly and i hope that more people come check out this restaurant.  i really enjoyed the food and would love to come back and try a variety of their other dishes! 

excellent choice j!

what meal would be complete without a little dessert?!

7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 939-6455

I LOVE ICE CREAM!  if you were to actually scream that out loud, that's how i feel about ice cream.  i could eat ice cream every single day...and not gain any weight, i would do it.  but since i live in reality, i don't eat it everyday. 

this place is just too adorable!  first of all...i love the logo.  i forgot to take a picture of the store front, so this is just a snapshot of a t-shirt.  the whole concept is just terrific...they even have gift cards that say "milk money"!  too cute for words.

as soon as you walk in, you see the ice cream and sorbet "counter"

all the names of each product are written on the glass.  to the left of the ice cream is a reach in filled with ice cream sandwiches.

those mint chocolate chip ones were calling to me....

off to the right side was another display case filled with a variety of delectable goodies like cookies, pound cakes, cupcakes and puddings.

though we were tempted by all the other delicious looking offerings milk had to offer, we stuck to our guns and got ice cream. 

banana dulce de leche for j...

and mint ice cream with itsy bitsy teeny weeny baby chocolate chips that looked like baby little kisses made just for the lilliputians in gulliver's travels! 

i did not sample the banana ice cream because of my allergies, and though i do try it sometimes, i wasn't in the mood.  but i was told that the flavor was good, but the consistency of the ice cream was very grainy.  not so good.

my mint ice cream was light and had a very mild mintiness to it.  now, for all you mint and chip ice cream lovers, you there is this fine balance between the amount of chips there are to ice cream, as well as the texture of the chips.  i felt there was actually too many chocolate chips mixed in for me and it was so hard and crunchy, which in this instance i did not like.  the texture of the actual ice cream itself was also very icy and you could see pieces of it break off.  it reminded me of superman's homeland where all the ice crystals were sticking up out of the ground etc.  just imagine that...and that's what my ice cream looked like.  not a texture becoming of ice cream...at all.  i long for that creamy, fatty feeling on my tongue...yum!  but sadly, that is not what we got last night with the ice cream at milk. 

it is my hope that they really work on their ice creams and making sure its smooth and creamy, if they don't, i would probably not come back for their ice cream.  they also serve food and again, a large variety of desserts which i would like to try at some point.  it was fun to stop by and check it out...especially just for the cute factor...i really enjoyed it the ambiance.  for ice cream...i'd rather get a rite aid ice cream then this one. 

thanks for reading yet another episode!  i hope you are all eating well and trying something new!! 

happy eating!


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