Peruvian-Chinese Saltado de Pollo in Hollywood, California (2007)
Before I moved to Los Angeles in 2007, some things had completely different meanings to me. Hollywood meant movie stars and people trying to become movie stars and Peruvian Cuisine meant little more than roast guinea pig. My perception of so many things has changed since then, experience so often proves that what I thought I knew was almost completely wrong… or at the very least incomplete. These days, Hollywood means Thai Town, Little Armenia and Filipino food with Oaxacan, Guatemalan and Salvadoran joints just a few streets above Koreatown and Little Bangladesh. Peruvian cuisine now means delicious roast chicken (pollos a la brasa), spicy and colorful sauces made from chilies like aji rocoto, amarillo and verde along with heavily Chinese influenced Chifa dishes. The one in the photo above is called Saltado de Pollo, which is basically a stir fry of chicken and French fries (likely made with Peruvian soy sauce). The soda in the background is Peruvian Inca Kola which is flavored with lemon verbena, an herb known as cedrón in Peru.
One of the first meals I ever had in Hollywood.