Sunday, September 16, 2012

La Limena - a Peruvian Restaurant

16 Sep 12: I had lunch here yesterday with a friend that I had not seen in about two years.

This place is located in a shopping strip on Rockville Pike. I’ve been to this shopping strip but have only eaten at Pho 95.

As you enter the place, the kitchen is on the left and you can see the golden brown roasted chicken and other foods on display. Looks good!

I expected a hole-in-the-wall type place but found a pleasant atmosphere, although nothing fancy.

On the table are two small dishes of sauces that you add to your food. One is a green spicy sauce and the other a mild creamy sauce. I did a quick Google search to see what the ingredients were. One recipe I found (there are many) for the green sauce is Aji de Huacatay, which includes rocoto pepper, Peruvian aji chilies, huacatay leaves, salt, and olive oil.

I found the menu to have a nice selection of Peruvian dishes along with some Cuban dishes. It’s an unusual combination but I also love Cuban food. Some items were inexpensive while others were pricier (hence, not a hole-in-the-wall place).

One of the specialties of the house, and a very typical Peruvian dish, is the Pollo Brasa – chicken that’s marinated in spices (I would guess for several hours) and then roasted. You can order the ¼ chicken with two sides for $6.95, but for just $2 more order the ½ chicken, which is what we both did. I figure I would have leftovers. In fact I’m enjoying my leftovers as I write this review. Yum!

We also ordered a non-alcoholic drink, which was home-made, called Chicha morada. We were told it was made of purple corn, pineapple, sugar, cinnamon and other ingredients. It was refreshing (perfect summer drink) and quite tasty.

With my meal, I had the rice, Cuban black beans, and fried plantains. The menu needs to be updated because the plantains were listed for an extra buck but the owner who took our order said it was a misprint. I told him I wanted the plantains anyway. Later, when looking at the bill, I saw I was charged $2.95. The owner should have told me what I was going to be charged. I would have ordered it anyway, but hey, tell your customers up front.

The food was first-rate. With the green Aji and other sauce, I enjoyed the chicken, which was quite tender. The black beans were some of the best I’ve had in a while. The plantains: fried, sweet, delicious. My friend had the black beans and a salad with her chicken.

Service was very good. In fact, a couple of waiters would come by to re-fill the small sauce dishes. Another would check to see how we were doing.

The place filled as we ate our food, almost all with (if I may assume) Peruvians, which is a sign of a good restaurant.

I really liked the food and service and would definitely return here to try some of the other dishes they have to offer.

La Limena
765-B Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20850