Peruvian Food Van Nuys

Machu Picchu is Chef-Recommended Peruvian Food Destination in Van Nuys

Machu Picchu is a family-run Van Nuys restaurant that’s a longtime favorite for Peruvian comfort food. Count Chef Phillip Frankland Lee among their fans.

When I recently posted a story about a restaurant in Van Nuys on Facebook, Chef Phillip Frankland Lee chimed in with a comment, saying, “Have you been to Machu Picchu in Van Nuys? My favorite Peruvian in the States. Ceviche mixto, anticucho, bistro a la pobre are my go-tos.” Since Phillip has proven his palate with Scratch Bar & Kitchen, Sushi | Bar and Woodley Proper, I decided to visit.

Machu Picchu has a sprawling, 80-dish menu with several of Peru’s most popular dishes including anticuchos, which are grilled beef heart skewers. Machu Picchu teams three tender, iron-rich “heart beef steak” skewers with boiled potatoes, choclo (starchy Peruvian hominy) and a moderately spicy red chile salsa called rocoto. Machu Picchu also provides aji—a spicier, herbaceous green salsa—with each meal.

Ceviche mixto is a flavorful play on Peru’s national dish: raw, citrus-marinated seafood. Their combo features red snapper, shrimp, calamari and octopus marinated with tangy Peruvian lemon sauce, aka leche de tigre. The colorful plate also comes with boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, choclo (hominy), toasted corn and sliced red onions that all complement the seafood.

I probably should have stuck with bistro a lo pobre—steak and fries with a fried egg—since my pick of pescado a lo macho was only pretty good. Sautéed shrimp and calamari, onions and tomatoes blanketed deep-fried swai fillets that probably spent a bit too long in the fryer. The plate came with steamed white rice and was a solid dish but didn’t match either anticuchos or ceviche mixto.

Jorge Moriya and his wife have been in business for more than 20 years, and the space remains vibrant. Although I prefer other Peruvian restaurants for certain dishes, I agree with Phillip Frankland Lee: Machu Picchu is certainly worth a visit.

6465 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, 818-997-3394

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