Fusion & Flavors is a sunny little storefront hidden away in a strip mall on U.S. 1 in Oakland Park. The name reflects the Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and African influences on Peru’s aromatic cuisine, but it also says something about how owner Miguel Angel Huaylla came to this cozy spot. Turns out the Lima native and restaurateur had his first American job cooking Irish dishes in Indiana, then moved on to South Florida restaurants such as Timpano, Seasons 52, Bova and Mancini’s, learning a lot about Italian and American cuisine along the way.
So the menu includes dishes like seafood fra diavolo as well as lomo saltado are included on his inexpensive menu. We lean toward his authentic Peruvian fare, starting with an order of refreshing ceviche (be careful carrying the box since it has lots of citrusy juices), with a generous amount of corvina, chunks of sweet potatoes, thin slices of red onions, crunchy cancha (like Peruvian popcorn) and large kernels of Peruvian corn with a hint of cilantro, lime and Peru’s fiery rojoto pepper. Causa is a round stack of lots of shredded white chicken between layers of mashed potatoes (usually there’s avocado, but they had run out so we got extra potatoes), garnished with kalamata olives and set in creamy olive and rocoto sauces.
We liked classics like lomo saltado, with strips of skirt steak (get filet mignon for $2 more), french fries and sliced tomatoes and onions in a savory, garlic-scented sauce with red and white wine; chaufa, Peru’s version of fried rice; and aji de gallina (shredded chicken bathed in a silky yellow pepper sauce, served on rice). On the weekend, Huaylla offers specials like saffron risotto and lamb shank. We ended with alfajor, a cookie filled with a layer of dulce de leche — a sweet taste of Peru in Oakland Park.