I’ve been telling Pdho about Limón for awhile now, but we’ve never had the chance to go check it out. The main reason probably has to do with its prime location on Valencia St. in the Mission making parking a bit of a challenge. However, we’ve made a resolution to try and explore the spectrum of dining options in the Mission. With a Groupon about to expire, Pdho and I invited KM to join us for brunch. The restaurant is much more spacious than it looks from the outside. It runs pretty deep and also has a second floor, but the brunch diners were confined to the ground floor. It was quite crowded which really wasn’t too surprising considering the previous times I’ve been for dinner, it’s been equally if not more busy.
The Ensalada de Vegetales was KM’s choice. Having just moved from Japan, KM was feeling a little anxious about becoming “super-sized, American style,” so he decided to take a low-calorie option. We ended up sharing everything anyways, but he still didn’t really eat that much. The salad was a mix of greens tossed in rocoto creamy dressing and topped with shrimps, hard-boiled eggs and parmesan wafers. I’m not sure what rocoto is, but it really made the dressing and ultimately the entire salad taste great.
After eating several similarly average tasting ceviches lately, I started to think that maybe ceviche was just not as good as I remembered it. The Ceviche Limon proved me wrong. It was a mix of different seafood including fish, calamari and shrimp and it was served with a side of characteristically Peruvian corn. I’m not sure if it’s the preparation or the quality of the ingredients, but the ceviche was delicious. I especially liked that the shrimps were big and juicy.
Although not seemingly Peruvian, the Omellet de Mariscos looked too good to ignore especially for brunch. It was made with tiger shrimp, calamari, and mussels mixed with spinach and topped with picante sauce and cheddar cheese. It came with a side order of sweet potato fries which were thin and crispy. The omelet was very good. The seafood was well-cooked, but there was a very interesting sauce mixed with the omelet filling which I really liked.
This was hands down the best dish of the meal, albeit it is probably the least Peruvian dish as well. Pdho was not too happy when I ordered this, because he said it was bad for me, but I couldn’t resist. I’m sure he was glad that I ordered it anyways, because in his words, “it is probably the best mac and cheese” he’s ever had. I’m not sure of the cheese that they used, but it was very subtle and although it was creamy, it wasn’t as heavy and dense as most other renditions. The pasta was cooked al dente which I always like, but the best part had to be the intoxicating aroma of truffle oil. YUM!!!
All in all, the food was excellent. I’m not necessarily sure the food was all that authentic in terms of Peruvian flavors, but I didn’t mind. Considering that we’ve been on this Peruvian roll lately with dinners at Mochica and La Mar, it was a good way to compare a couple of different takes on Peruvian cuisine. Not that the food at Mochica and La Mar were bad. I actually enjoyed the food at both places, but even without comparing either restaurant to Limón or even each other, neither restaurant really hit the spot. The flavors weren’t as strong and I don’t think the food was as well-prepared. Anyways, I really liked Limón, and I look forward to coming back for dinner some time in the future.
524 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
PAFO Ratings for Limón:
Price 2½ stars
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4 stars