Mi Lindo Peru
By Taya Varnichpun
Published Oct 2018
San Francisco may be teeming with fancier Peruvian fare, but Mi Lindo Peru is a hidden gem that delivers true tastes in a welcoming, family-run restaurant. Mi Lindo doesn’t cut corners when it comes to their authentic Peruvian dishes. Their portions have also remained the same size since they opened their doors 22 years ago, when owner Carlos Miyahira was still a boy. Their extensive menu is also relatively unaltered -- one can make a family style meal simply out of all the flavorful, hearty appetizers. “We tried cutting down the menu, but customers kept asking for the dishes that weren’t on the new menu.” said Miyahira. Offerings include dishes that are both familiar to diners, but also go beyond. “These are the typical dishes we ate at home,” Miyahira explains. They’re prepared with the same attention to detail as one would have for one’s own family. Of the hot appetizers, not to be missed is the Chicharrón al Ajo. Crispy fried, generously seasoned chicken pieces are topped with fried minced garlic. Served alongside lemon juice to dip, the combination packs a punch with equal parts crunchy, salty goodness cut with the citrus flavor that is unstoppable. For those a bit more adventurous, the Anticuchos, or beef hearts are marinated, skewered, and grilled, flavorfully paired atop grilled yucca. Potato lovers should also try the Papa Rellena. A cousin to the Chile Relleno, they’re a cross between an empanada and potato dumpling, filled with ground beef, olives, and egg. The Lomo Saltado, one of the most famous Peruvian dishes should not be missed here. A Chinese influenced, or chifa dish, Lomo Saltado consists of grilled beef with a gravy sauce, stir fried with french fries and topped on a bed of rice. Mi Lindo’s version features a most flavorful rice that leaves you finishing every last kernel. If noodles are more your carb of choice, the Tallarin Saltado de Carne combines the same flavorful grilled beef and sauce with spaghetti noodles. Perhaps most impressive on Mi Lindo’s long list of authentic dishes is a signature Peruvian drink, the Chicha Morada. A traditional Peruvian drink made of purple corn.The restaurant uses real imported purple corn, purchased solely to create this drink. Fermented, then combined with cinnamon and cloves, the Chicha Morada tastes like a tarty pomegranate juice, dressed for Christmas festivities. Whether simply in the mood for some comfort food, or gathering a large group of friends or family, Mi Lindo doesn’t disappoint. Open for lunch weekdays from 11:30am - 2:30pm; weekend lunch from noon - 4pm Open for dinner everyday from 5pm - 9pm