Best South American Cuisine - 2008
Mi Cocina Mi País
Mexican restaurants already blanket the Valley, but what about culinary offerings from much farther south of the border, as in South America? For those, you might have to search a little harder, but the effort's worth it. Our favorite stop is Mi Cocina Mi País, a strip mall gem that serves up homestyle dishes from Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia in a happy orange dining room draped with colorful woven tapestries. Here, shrimp ceviche gets a tasty twist, thanks to pickled red onion and a handful of popcorn, while juicy pork tamales come wrapped in glossy, dark green banana leaves. Sample fluffy arepa (corn cakes) or sobrebarriga Bogotana (Colombian slow-cooked beef), and then quench your thirst with a cold glass of sugary chicha morada (a purple punch made from corn, of all things) or pineapple-sweetened avena helada. Desserts like flan, plantain cake, and torta de camote, made with sweet potatoes and raisins, are authentic as well — and too tasty to pass up.