Bodegon No. 69: Refreshing Peruvian fusion

By Frier McCollister

Pasadena Weekly Contributing Author

Chef Sandra Loli Lam and Mauricio Vincenzi have regarded every other as colleagues and friends for 15 a long time. They fulfilled although working at a Peruvian cafe in the San Fernando Valley and, for decades, dreamed of partnering on a restaurant of their possess.

Ironically, it was the pandemic lockdown that permitted them the time and indicates to achieve their target.

“We observed the prospect in the challenge. A lot of pals identified as us nuts,” Vincenzi stated.

Open up considerably less than a thirty day period, the consequence of the pair’s goals and schemes is Bodegon No. 69, positioned on Raymond Avenue in the space earlier occupied by Meat District Co. Driving a regional nascent wave of fascination in Peruvian cuisine, the Bodegon No. 69 menu of classics affords the most current and most area chance to genuinely see (and flavor) what all the fuss is about.

Whilst debates between foodies can usually center all over problems of authenticity versus innovative fusion of influence and ingredients, genuine Peruvian delicacies is inevitably a all-natural fusion of assorted culinary influences.

Indigenous Incan tradition, Hispanic colonial trade and the generational impact of Japanese and Chinese immigrant communities meld in various dishes that exemplify Peru’s one of a kind delicacies. 

“What is Peruvian food stuff? It is a Latin getting married to an Asian,” Vincenzi reported.

Vincenzi grew up in Rosario, Argentina, in a family of bakers and pasta makers. He appears to be to his associate Lam for affirmation of his former statement. Lam is a indigenous of Lima and her mother is Chinese.

“My grandad experienced a cafe in Chinatown in Lima,” Lam explained. “My aunties and my mom have been extremely fantastic cooks.”

Vincenzi extra, “Sandra’s the actual deal.”

Lam attended culinary school in Lima right before arriving in Southern California in 2006. Vincenzi’s mother was a properly trained chef and he grew up performing in the loved ones bakery.

“You identify it, I did it,” he reported. “I do thank my mothers and fathers for that — (the ethic) to perform tricky.”

Vincenzi is also a scholar of Peruvian record. He can demonstrate the origins of Peru’s ethnic diversity, specially the influx of Asian immigration, as labor was recruited in the wake of slavery’s abolition. Peru’s long-standing generational Asian local community is comprised of Japanese, originally from Okinawa and Cantonese Chinese.

Ceviche is Peru’s nationwide dish. Notably, the Peruvian version tends to vary from its Latin neighbors with the presence of leche de tigre, the milky consequence of a more time steep of uncooked fish or seafood in a marinade of lime juice, salt and garlic. The presentation consists of the exclusive garnish of massive Peruvian corn kernels and cancha or toasted maize.

At Bodegon No. 69, there are two renditions: clasico ceviche de pescado with combined seafood ($18) or merely fresh new fish ($17). The ceviche B69 ($22) arrives topped with fried calamari.

In a very similar group that calls to Japanese sashimi is the Tiradito a la Crema ($17) with razor-thin slices of fresh raw fish basking in a yellow aji pepper sauce.

Chinese affect can be uncovered in two other Peruvian classics right here: lomo saltado and arroz chaufa. Usually ready with beef, saltado also interprets to stir fry and is geared up in a wok.

The beef edition ($17) is tossed with tomatoes and purple and environmentally friendly onions and then served historically around a mattress of french fries and rice. It is also accessible with rooster ($16), shrimp ($17) or combined seafood ($18). Vegetarian variations incorporate saltado de hongos ($16) with mushrooms, bell pepper and tomatoes as properly as saltado de vegetales ($16) with inexperienced beans, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes. Arroz chaufa is conventional Peruvian fried rice tossed with a preference of protein: beef or shrimp ($17) blended seafood ($18) or hen ($15).

No Peruvian menu would omit papas huancaina ($11), sliced potatoes in a the spicy environmentally friendly huancaina sauce, which is also served with the bolitas de yucca ($10), fried croquettes yielding a centre of creamy yucca filling. Both dishes are served as appetizers at Bodegon No. 69 as is the salchipapa ($12), a road meals preferred of French fries tossed with sliced sausage, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and aji verde sauce.

A lot more substantial fare is offered in the form of Milanese de carne ($16), a breaded steak cutlet with French fries and rice or bistec montado ($28), a grilled steak with potatoes and fried plantains.

4 stews are also on the menu, including a conventional cau cau ($14) of tripe seasoned with aji amarillo, turmeric and yerba buena. Thirsty? A cool glass of chicha morada, brewed from purple corn, cinnamon and cloves is constantly accessible, as is the staple Peruvian soda, Inka Kola.

In Latin American cultures, a bodega is a smaller neighborhood grocery and deli. A bodegon is the tiny eating procedure typically hooked up to the store. The environment of Bodegon No. 69 evokes a perception of humble grace.

“When we initially walked in below, the décor struck me the most,” Vincenzi said. “You have the sense of a tavern. This was the great canvas.”

Little by little, Vincenzi intends to enrich the interior to even further more conjure a feeling of Peru’s “Golden Age,” the historical interval between 1900 and 1920, when Peru’s financial state boomed with international expense, adhering to Globe War I.

Bear in thoughts, Bodegon No. 69 is technically even now in the midst of a comfortable opening.

“We have not opened officially,” Vincenzi reported. “We are continue to in the middle of recruiting.”

Menu objects may perhaps change, and the décor will evolve but there’s no want to hold off a pay a visit to for some contemporary ceviche or saltado. The official ribbon reducing is June 28.

Vincenzi mirrored on his and Lam’s unique arrival on Raymond Avenue.

“We observed the pandemic as a great sign” Vincenzi said. “The town has been really respectful and pretty beneficial. They have been keen to go the extra mile to get our allowing on time. There is a whole lot of respect all round from equally sides. Which is one thing to admire. We’ve often needed to be a aspect of the Pasadena neighborhood.”