Sitting at the edge of Montara Beach State Park along California’s Pacific Coast is a beautiful restaurant that lives by the traditions of classic Peruvian cuisine. It is called La Costanera, and they have mastered the trick of mixing ancient recipes with modern ingredients and techniques to create something special.
Peruvian food is characterized by the exciting, fresh, and diverse flavors of the many regions within the country. One of the most traditional dishes from the area around the city of Arequipa in Peru is called Rocoto Relleno.
Rocoto Relleno is based on a traditional Spanish dish of stuffed peppers, but when the sweet peppers of Spain were unavailable in South America, they substituted the far spicier pepper of Peru called the Rocoto or capsicum pubescens. It is considered ten times spicier than a jalapeno when raw, and it ripens to a beautiful, bright red color.
Traditionally, this pepper is boiled in water and vinegar to reduce the level of spiciness as much as possible. Then, it is classically stuffed with hard boiled eggs or other ingredients like beef, pork, onions, and garlic. Any of the spices of Peruvian food might also be mixed in for a unique aroma and flavor. It is then often covered in delicious cheese and baked until perfect.
The dish is a specialty at La Costanera Restaurant. In fact, the chef grows his own peppers and brings them in to the restaurant to create several other of his exciting recipes. The Rocoto pepper sauce is prepared fresh daily, and it brings in a taste of the chef’s private garden directly to the table.
When you are looking for a great Peruvian restaurant in Southern California, or if you happen to be in the area in search of a wonderful place to eat, you need look no further than La Costanera. Its beautiful ocean views are just the first step as you go on a sensual adventure of aroma and flavor.