Is there good Peruvian food in the San Fernando Valley? I was hoping to answer this question last week with a few friends when we met for lunch at Takatis. There are a handful of Peruvian restaurants in Van Nuys right around the intersection of Victory and Van Nuys Blvd. Among them are Puro Sabor, Nazca, Machu-Picchu and Takatis. Takatis is known for their Sanguchon, a sandwich made with chicken, yam, egg, and cheese. We were looking forward to this unique sandwich, but to our disappointment the restaurant ran out during our visit.
Takatis is small, but the large windows and vibrant colors give it a bright ambiance. After we ordered, our waitress brought over ketchup and three types of Peruvian sauces made with different chili peppers. The green sauce was made with jalapeños, the yellow and orange were made with Peruvian chilies of the same color. The sauces all tasted very fresh and on the milder side in terms of heat.
We ordered the ceviche to share and it arrived on a large plate with a generous mix of fish, squid and shrimp marinaded in lime and red onions served with boiled potatoes, fried yam and Peruvian corn. The seafood was very tender, but not mushy with the perfect amount of acidity from the lime. It tasted so fresh and vibrant, we all wished we had ordered our own. This was one of the best ceviches I have had in a while.
My friends opted for the chicken burrito and I went for the saltado. Having heard great things about their chicken, I choose the pollo saltado thinking the rotisserie chicken would be used in the dish. This was not the case. The chicken in the saltado is marinaded in vinegar and stir fried with large chunks of tender red onion, tomatoes and french fries. The dish on its own lacked acidity to cut the heaviness from the sauce and french fries. The pepper sauces helped cut the grease and brightened the dish. It was good, but not something I would order again. The ceviche on the other hand, will be a welcomed staple in my lunch rotation.
We'll be back to try other items on the menu, but in the mean time, the hunt continues for an all around good Peruvian restaurant in the San Fernando Valley.
6470 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91405