Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Las Totoritas (4 Forks, $12 pp)

Although I live only an hour north, I rarely get down to Miami.  After a recent visit, I am kicking myself for not visiting more often. One of the highlights of the day was dinner at a tiny Peruvian restaurant called Las Totoritas, at 7367 NW 36th Street. I didn't expect much when we arrived. Las Totoritas is one of three Peruvians restaurants in a small downtrodden strip mall.  Once inside, though, I started to get excited.

Las Totoritas is a tiny place, but brighter and cleaner than the typical hole in the wall. Some effort was made here, and although not extravagant, the mood is inviting and pleasant.  Perhaps a dozen tables line a wall with a couple more in the front.

When we arrived, only a few tables were taken. Our server immediately stepped over, passed around menus, and took our drink requests. Coming from Peru herself, she was very knowledgeable about the menu. She was very accomodating to our questions about preparations and ingredients.

I've never eaten Peruvian food, so the menu was really intriguing. A whole page was devoted to various types of ceviche, called Cebiche.  We selected the special of the night, Cebiche de Pescado y Camarón made with shrimp and fish. The seafood had been marinated in a delicious combination of lemon, salt, garlic, spicy peruvian peppers, cilantro, and red onion.  The fish was a mild white fish called Basa. The sweet potatoes on the side provided just the right amount of sweetness to counteract the sour spice of the dish. 

In the foreground of the picture is fried and boiled choclo.  Choclo is a large kernelled type of corn that is much more starchy than typical american corn. The platter was family sized and could easily have fed three or four hungry adults.  Somehow, we polished it off between the two of us.

We also couldn't resist having a side order of Yuca Frita con Salsa Huancaína. The fried yuca is crispy and a bit chewy.  Salsa Huancaína is a light cheese sauce.  The combination was a nice contrast to our main course. The Peruvian beer called Cusquena was refreshing and went well with our order.

Having stuffed ourselves, we were unable to sample the Peruvian ice cream and sweets displayed at the counter. I have no regrets. This is a place I can't wait to get to again.  Thank you Las Totoritas for a great introduction to Peruvian cuisine!

Totoritas on Urbanspoon

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