Ernesto Guitierrez, one half of the chef-owner team behind the Westside's departed Inka Deli, is back in Venice, serving authentic Peruvian food on the Boardwalk alongside his chef-partner, Walther Adrianzen. Hugging a window-side counter on Westminster's row of cheap eats, El Huarique wraps a ceviche bar and anticucho spot into one tiny little space. The restaurant may not diminish our cravings for the arrival of Ricardo Zarate's Paiche, but it does offer some enticing bites at under ten dollars per plate.
Along with Peruvian mainstays like rotisserie chicken, causa, chaufa, lomo saltado, and Chinese-influenced tallarin chow mein dishes, the new diner specializes in a long list of ceviches, fried and grilled fish, and tiraditos, including leche de tigre with blood clams, passion fruit ceviche, Peruvian paella, steamed mussels balancing giant kernels of Peruvian corn like edible pearls, and pescado a la plancha.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M., the restaurant even offers a "ceviche happy hour," while a $6.99 lunch special is on the roster daily. See the full menu online.
El Huarique, 1301 Ocean Front Walk #10 Venice; 310-452-1254.