If you’ve ever strolled down Ponce de Leon Blvd in between Alhambra Circle and Miracle Mile, you may have walked right past Pardo’s Peruvian Cuisine restaurant and not even noticed it. The next time you are in the neighborhood, you might want to stop in and see what you’ve been missing. For even though Pardo’s does not look like much from the outside, the inside is much more inviting and the food is worth the visit.
What began in Peru 22 years ago as a rotisserie chicken joint has grown into much more than that. And while they offer their signature “Brasa” chicken, the menu is as diverse as is Peruvian cuisine. The rotisserie chicken traditionally comes with either one side dish (including options such as papas a la huancaina, french fries, plantains, beans, and salad), or with one side dish and a house salad. One also can order a grilled chicken breast known as Pardos Parillero, or a chicken brochette. In addition, Pardo’s offers “value meals” that serve two to four people.
For those wishing to explore Peruvian cuisine more fully, Pardo’s menu now includes a number of what it calls “Criollo” dishes, but which this reviewer considers to be more typical of Peruvian cooking. One of the more unique Peruvian dishes is Aji de Gallina, which is tender chunks of chicken cooked in a slightly spicy sauce and served over sliced potatoes with a garnish of black olives and hard-boiled egg. For those who like it even spicier, the meal comes with a hot sauce for dipping. Some of the other “Criollo” possibilities include Lomo Saltado, Pollo Saltado, Brasa Chaufa, and the ubiquitous Arroz con Pollo, although the latter is made “Pardo’s style” with cilantro rice.
Pardo’s has daily lunch specials for $5.90, including their rotisserie chicken, and there is a kid’s meal that features one piece of rotisserie chicken, french fries, a beverage and toy for $7.50. On the dessert menu are Peruvian specialties such as Suspiro a la Limena (known also as Royal Dessert), Pecado de Lucuma, and Crema Volteada. There also is a salad menu that features Pardo’s chicken in various settings. Be sure to try a glass of the Chicha Morada, which is made from purple corn and pineapple juice and flavored with cinnamon and clover.
Pardo’s is open Monday to Thursday from 11:30am to 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30am to 11:00pm and on Sunday from noon to 10:00pm. They are located at 2312 Ponce de Leon Blvd.