When we first heard that Bulla Gastrobar’s sister restaurant was opening in Kendall, we were a little skeptical. It seemed strange to us that a quality Peruvian eatery would open in the land of chain restaurants and strip malls. But after visiting during opening week, we were sold on the location. Pisco y Nazca is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and a much-needed break from Outback Steakhouse, Blue Martini, Cadillac Ranch and other area chains. And oh yeah, it has great food.
If you’ve been to Bulla in Coral Gables, you know the drill. There are plenty of small plates and entrees to make your stomach happy, but here at Pisco y Nazca , there’s also a whole section dedicated to ceviches (yassssssssssssss). But before we get into that, let’s start with drinks. We’ll give you one guess as to what you should order as your drink at this Peruvian restaurant. Were you thinking about pisco sours? Yes? Good guess! Diners can enjoy not one but three different flavors of the popular beverage, including chicha morada. Not a pisco fan? Try one of the other signature cocktails or a beer from their 100+ collection. One thing’s for sure: You won’t be thirsty.
As for the food, it’s traditional Peruvian with a twist. The ceviches, for instance, use flounder as a base fish as opposed to the usual sea bass we encounter. Consequently, the texture is different (in a good way) and just as delicious — it’s nice to see this playfulness across the menu. Available in small or large portions, we opted for the former since we had plenty of eating to do.
Our selections — the chifa and the rocoto — burst with flavor and were just as vibrant in their appearance. The chifa ceviche was downright gorgeous with lots of color; the daikon and sesame oil added some welcome Asian flair to the dish. Meanwhile, the rocoto featured a delish mix of seafood, including some tasty fried calamari that made this one worth ordering twice.
Other small bites we enjoyed: the causa crocante and ravioles de pepian. Creamy potatoes and wonderfully crispy breaded prawn sold us on the causa, while the sweet, creamy interior and spicy, tangy exterior of the raviolis created the perfect 1-2 flavor punch to the face.
The star of the night was the anticucho corazon, which came strongly recommended from our server. What to expect: hearty, tender beef heart with an aji panca sauce to die for. The accompanying fried potatoes were poppin’, too. Hell, the whole thing was good. Definitely order it.
We underestimated the sizes of the appetizers, so by the time we finished off the anticucho, we were actually pretty full. You really get your money’s worth with the small plates, which aren’t really that small. Our server said that’s the great thing about the menu: you can just load up on small plates and leave full (and happy.) So although we skipped the larger plates this time around, that’s all the more reason to return.
With that said, there is ALWAYS room for dessert. Whether you prefer something lighter or something more “fuck-my-diet”-esque, Pizco y Nazca has you covered. We tried desserts from both ends of the spectrum. The suspiro de Guanábana — dulce de leche custard with purple corn meringue — is different (aka purple) and super airy. While we liked it, it’s definitely not for everyone.
The more accessible — and decadent — dessert is the chocolate dome. Hot white chocolate is poured onto the sphere, which in turn melts and creates a gooey, memorable mix of flavors, which includes some scrumptious sweet potato custard. If you’ve been to Toro Toro at the Intercontinental, it’s like the Bomba dessert (but way better).
Having been only open a week when we stopped by, Pisco y Nazca already looks like it’ll fit right into the neighborhood. It was packed on an otherwise calm Sunday night in the area, and our fellow bloggers have also noted that it’s been slammed when they visited. And that’s great sign because Kendall definitely needed a quality restaurant like this one.