What’s up, Nomsters! I don’t often make it all the way out to the far East Bay, but when I heard about LiMA in Concord, CA, I knew I had to check it out. At first glance, Peruvian food can look similar to some Spanish dishes, but the flavors are super unique and bold in their own way thanks to their local food culture and ingredients. LiMA Concord brings that authentic Peruvian cuisine to the Bay Area, and it’s seriously bomb! There wasn’t one dish that I didn’t enjoy, and I barely even scratched the surface of their menu. Here are some of my favorites that you need to try!
Arroz con Mariscos
One thing you’ll notice as a trend at LiMA Concord is the attention to detail and the focus on beautiful plating to compliment the yummy food. The Arroz con Mariscos was one of my absolute favorites! I’m a huge seafood guy, and this dish was packed with so much of all different kinds. This one is a Peruvian style paella consisting of a fresh seafood and rice mixture of calamari, prawns, mussels, octopus, ají panca and parmesan cheese. It’s such a great deal considering the amount of seafood you get, and it’ll definitely fill you up!
Causa de Pollo
One of the first dishes I tried was their Causa de Pollo, which was whipped potato cake spiced with ají amarillo and lime, and served with avocado, cherry tomatoes, quail egg and Huancaína sauce. I recommend trying to get a bit with a little bit of everything including a half of a cherry tomato. It’s amazing how it all fits and works so well together. The potato cake provides a solid base, while the avocado brings a creamy texture. The chicken brings about a savoriness, and the refreshing cherry tomatoes balance everything out.
Before having this dish from LiMA Concord, I had never had such a thick cut of octopus, and I was worried when I saw it that it was going to be chewy. I could not have been more wrong! The Pulpo Anticuchero was cooked to perfection and was practically melt-in-your-mouth. The dish is grilled octopus with anticucho sauce and served with potatoes, Peruvian corn and drizzled with botija olive aioli. The only thing to mention is the olive aioli does have a strong flavor, so if you’re not a fan of olives, this one might not be for you. But the texture and flavor otherwise is awesome.
If you’re new to Peruvian food and you’re looking for something a little more familiar, the Lomo Saltado is a great place to start. It’s Sautéed beef tenderloin strips with onions, tomato wedges, garlic and fries, tossed in a rich soy demi-glaze with rice. You can think of it like Peruvian steak and fries, but with a bunch of other awesomeness thrown in the mix. The beef was tender and the flavor was great, but the one thing I was a little disappointed with was that the fries got to be a little soggy, whereas I prefer crispier ones. It’s still really good and I would definitely recommend it.
Of the two desserts I tried, this one was definitely my favorite, although both were totally mouth-watering. The Alfajores are delicate shortbread cookies filled with manjar blanco, which is a sweet caramel-like filling and topped with powdered sugar. These were like Oreo’s taken to the billionth level. The manjar blanco was still gooey and drippy and the powdered sugar was so carefully and perfectly sprinkled on top, so it really enhanced the presentation, as well as the taste! There’s a good chance you’ll be pretty stuffed after your meal, so if you’re in the mood for a light dessert, give this one a try.
Picarones are Peruvian donuts made of sweet potato and squash and drizzled in molasses syrup. They were a bit crispy on the outside while soft and warm on the inside, and they drizzled some of the syrup over the top of them and also provided some extra on the side if you wanted more (I used the extra, but I have a pretty serious sweet tooth). This was my first time having this kind of dessert, and I’ll definitely be getting it next time!
I loved my experience at LiMA Concord and wish I lived closer so I could go back more frequently. The owners and staff are super friendly, and you can tell everyone there is passionate and proud of the restaurant, their service, and the delicious food. Let us know what you think when you go. Till next time, Nomsters!
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