Bakersfield has more than its fair share of Mexican restaurants, carts and trucks, yet sadly, the rest of the Spanish-speaking world is grossly underrepresented here. Mi Peru is one restaurant that shows just how badly our city needs more South American offerings.
Located at 731 California Ave., just southeast of Maya Cinemas, Mi Peru may be easy to miss on the first pass. It looks just like any of the numerous small burger diners that are sprinkled throughout California, but entering you’ll find that looks are deceiving.
There’s a bar behind the counter stocked with various beers and wines, but overall the interior is sparsely decorated, and at its peak, the whole place could probably hold approximately 30 people.
The menu is simple, a selection of fish, seafood, beef, and chicken dishes will appeal to almost anyone, and vegetarian plates are also available. The appetizers are mostly potato or seafood based. I would be a fool if I didn’t recommend starting your meal with the Papa a la Huancaina, which is fried and sliced potatoes in a creamy, spicy, yellow pepper sauce.
Another dish I would recommend is the Bisteck a la Chorillana; a thin pan-fried steak served with sautéed tomatoes and onions and white rice. The vegetables were incredibly juicy and flavorful – probably the most delicious part of the meal though the steak was well seasoned and juicy.
Overall the food is great, though it seems a little high in salt. The customer service is fast and friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming. The only major drawback is the location, which may turn off some people, though I wouldn’t let it deter you.