During two months in China, my travel partner Diana and I discovered that we are both obsessively, sometimes scarily, serious about food. As we backpacked across Yunnan Province, the thing that kept us sane – and that brought us together – was getting to taste each region and ethnic group’s special foods and dishes: spicy cold noodles from a Hui stall and gooey brown sugar-filled Bai bread pockets in Dali; Naxi-style fried rice in Lijiang; beef hoof stew cooked at home by a Hani family in Puer; and Va specialty blood rice porridge in Ximeng.
When we returned to the States, the ethnic and culinary diversity of Los Angeles – the ability to try everything from Japanese to Chinese, Mexican, Salvadorian, Korean, Ethiopian, Filipino, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and to experience them in an authentic way – became something Diana and I appreciated anew.
So when we visited Intiraymi Restaurant in Diamond Bar, we were excited to try a cuisine that is also heavily influenced by many ethnicities, climates and communities. Peruvian food is strongly regional and reflects its own diverse heritage with immigrants from Spain, China, Italy, Germany, Japan and Africa adding their own unique flavors.
Intiraymi Restaurant is situated in an unassuming, nondescript strip mall in Diamond Bar and owned by native Peruvians. We started out with lomo saltado, a dish using Chinese stir-fry techniques to combine chunks of tender beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and French fries (my favorite part!), all served over rice.
We also ordered the pescado a lo macho, recommended to us by the owner: a fried fish fillet and medley of squid and shrimp smothered in a creamy golden tangy aji panca (yellow pepper) and wine sauce.
Everything, of course, was delicious; our only regret was not having enough room to try more dishes. The more often I try different Peruvian dishes, the more eager I am to visit the country and taste firsthand its vast array of regional and local foods.
What is your favorite local or regional dish?
23545 Palomino Dr
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
Mario’s Peruvian Seafood Restaurant
5786 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
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