Sampling foreign foods can teach your tongue a zesty new language of taste and your eyes a spicy new language of pain if you accidentally rub them mid-meal. Avoid ocular mishaps with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Peruvian fare and drinks at La Furia Chalaca in Oakland.
La Furia Chalaca’s head chef Maria Fiestas crafts a menu built on traditional recipes and authentic ingredients. Set aside lingering differences with your evil robotic hand and grab a starter such as the anticuchos, zesty Peruvian kabobs skewered with grilled beef heart and vegetables ($10). Midday munchers can stuff gaping mandibles with entrees such as the arroz con mariscos, a smattering of fresh shellfish in saffron-speckled rice ($11.99); dinnertime diners can feast on the jalea especial, a combination of breaded shrimp, shellfish, and fillet of fresh fish with fried plantains and lime dressing ($19). Afterward, savor the rare dessert mazamorra morada, which silences persnickety sweet teeth with a blend of apple, pineapple, purple corn pudding, cinnamon, and clove ($4). The degustation occurs within a pastoral interior, housing Incan statues and mahogany furniture.
La Furia Chalaca
The aromas of fresh seafood marinated in lime juice and plantains frying waft from the kitchen at La Furia Chalaca, where head chef Maria Fiestas follows traditional techniques passed on through her family to craft authentic Peruvian cuisine. Each day, Fiestas dips into a pantry stocked with ingredients imported from Peru, such as the Andean dried potatoes she uses to thicken the sauce for her braised-pork dish carapulcra. She finishes off her menu with authentic desserts, including her mazamorra morada, a pudding of purple corn, sweet-potato flour, cinnamon, and cloves mixed with bits of apple and pineapple.
A second dining room, scheduled to open in October 2014, is a reflection of a new, modern Peruvian style inspired by the owner's artistic background. Here, guests may whet their appetites with traditional Peruvian Pisco Sours, wine, or cocktails from the bar, while enjoying Latin music.