Restaurant Review: Los Calamares

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The grey skies and cold temperatures of the winter season in Lima are no impediment for seafood lovers to enjoy the best fish and seafood that the Peruvian cold waters have to offer. This week we visited ‘Los Calamares,’ a typical seafood place located in the limits of Santiago de Surco, Barranco, and Miraflores. A colleague of ours had recommended this place, in particular for its ‘pota,’ a mollusk found in the cold Peruvian sea waters that is not easily found on other menus.

Upon arrival we could tell we were in a typical seafood restaurant: simple in its decoration, with spacious with brown wooden tables and some lovely large black and white photos of Lima in the 1930s on the walls. One picture caught our attention: it looked like the same locale where we were but with some old ‘Buick’ cars parked at the entrance. In another corner, we spotted an old and a bit run down rockola with a display of the classic hits of the time in lovely 45 vinyl discs.

A man suddenly approached us and introduced himself as one of the owners of the restaurant. We sat and he told us that the restaurant was opened in 1955 by his grandfather, a Japanese immigrant from Okinawa city. Back then situated in a small place in Barranco the restaurant served only four dishes, of which one of them was the famous ‘pota’ for which customers would come back regularly. Due to their success, the Miyagui family had to look for a bigger place where they could conveniently host their clients. In 1962, they moved into the place where the restaurant stands now, and since then they have not stopped delighting their old and new clients. Their specialty is definitely Peruvian seafood, but with some Nikkei influence, we were told.

*READ MORE: Nikkei: Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine*

We started with the ‘Calamar frito de la casa’(S/. 23), which was the famous pota prepared with ají amarillo and plenty of onions. The dish was warm, fresh, and quite tasty.

Calamar frito de la casa
_Calamar frito de la casa (Photo: Geraint Rowland/Peru this Week)_

Then came the ‘Causa especial,” (S./24) a large round portion of causa filled with crabmeat and avocado, bathed in a light huancaina sauce and decorated on top with a generous piece of grilled octopus.

The causa especial
_The causa especial (Photo: Geraint Rowland/Peru this Week)_

We also tried the ‘Crab filled tequenos’ (S./ 13 and S/.23) which came with an avocado sauce on the side. They were generously filled in but in my view they lacked flavor.

p=. “*READ MORE: Five seafood dishes to sample in Peru*”:http://www.peruthisweek.com/food-five-seafood-dishes-to-sample-in-peru-103473

We then had the ‘Cebiche Nikei’ (S/.44). Beautifully decorated and generously served, the dish had big chunks of fresh flounder, plenty of avocado slices, and corn grains on the side, and plenty of deep fried wanton slices on the other. The sauce and the abundant black and white sesame seeds brought in the impeccable Japanese flavor. All in all, the dish was delicious and I could easily come back for it.

Cebiche Nikei
_Cebiche Nikei (Photo: Geraint Rowland/Peru this Week)_

We then tried the ‘Risotto de langostinos con dados de lomo’ (S/. 45), which in our view was a bit overcooked, both the rice and the meat.

PHOTO CAPTION

_Risotto de langostinos con dados de lomo (Photo: Geraint Rowland/Peru this Week)_

Then came the ‘Lenguado enrollado’ (Pictured above, S/. 48), several pieces of flounder filled with crab meat and rolled like makis, bathed in a succulent shrimp sauce that was to die for. We wondered if the sauce was like this, the soups and other seafood based potages must be quite something.

In fact, I checked the menu to see other dishes that I might want to try next time I come here. I noticed they had indeed several seafood soups and broths, a ceviche that had won Mistura a few years back, and many other seafood specialties I could consider trying. I also noticed they have a standard two-dish menu of S/. 24 served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday only. And – very importantly these days – they have parking space.

_Please note: Peru this Week was invited to this restaurant and were not asked to pay for the meal._ _For more information,_ “please see our Editorial Policy”:http://e.peruthisweek.e3.pe/doc/0/0/0/2/2/22498.pdf.

*Price range:*
Starters – S/ 12 – 30
Ceviches – S/. 20 – 44
Tiraditos – S/. 30 – 42
Broths and soups – S/. 10- 38
Tacu tacu – S/. 32 -44
Filetes – S/. 28 – 38
Chicharrones – S/. 29 – 36
Rice dishes – S/. 28- 42
Beers – S/. 7 -9
Pisco sours – S/. 14

For more information, “visit our Restaurant Guide”:http://www.peruthisweek.com/restaurants-calamares-10840.

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Being well-traveled and living in many parts of the world, gives Roxana great leverage when it comes to food tasting and her love for food is well expressed in her articles