I went with pal J.Low to Limon. Friends on more than one occasion, as well as numerous Chowhounds and other restaurant critics have given this place rave reviews. So I thought it was finally time to pay a visit.We ordered the Empanadas to start. The dough was fried to a perfect crispy texture and golden brown on the outside, yet moist and tender on the inside. And the meat filling was flavorful and cooked perfectly. Not dry at all. However, our main complaint was with the accompanying sauce. It added absolutely nothing. No flavor, no zest, not even any spice or heat! What the hell was the point? A squeeze of lime would have been better!
Then we enjoyed the Lomo Saltado, which is what this place is known for (along with their elegantly presented Fried Red Snapper dish). It’s beef sirloin and red onion pieces sauteed with a soy based sauce but with distinctive Latin spices. Now I’ve been told that Peruvian cooking has many Asian influences for whatever reason, which is why the Latin spices combined with the soy based sauce for the beef should be of no surprise.
The beef was cooked perfectly, but it was the french fries in the dish that were the highlight. They were perfectly crisp on the outside and tender inside, despite being soaked in the sauce. And the beef was cooked perfectly medium rare and tender. My two biggest complaints about the dish are the rice and the gamey flavor of the meat. The rice could have benefited from some additional flavor like coconut milk or a quick fry with some soy sauce. And I can’t explain the gamey flavor of the beef. It was a very obvious and unfortunate sidenote to what would’ve been a great dish.
All in all, the meal was alright, but it certainly didn’t live up to all the hype. The service was very spotty and the staff seemed totally despondent. The food was good, but lacked depth. The dishes were all well intentioned, but they all missed a certain something to really make your tastebuds sing. I wanted to like this place more, but I have a feeling I won’t be back.