Exquisite Peruvian flavors, melding centuries of global influences and a link to the Incas, are showing up on more upscale menus in South Florida. Yet for the best, authentic fare, we still head to small, neighborhood nooks like Malulo's in Pompano Beach. Peruvian friends have been raving about the delicioso dishes prepared by owner-chef Eduardo "Malulo" Durand, with help from his wife and three grown children.
Durand grew up in Cerro de Pasco in central Peru, where he developed a love of cooking in his parents' kitchen. He learned more about his country's diverse food when he traveled as a salesman for a laboratory company. If Durand liked a dish, says his daughter Meilyn Reiterer, he would head straight to the kitchen to ask the chef about its preparation. When the firm closed, Durand turned his passion into a business, launching his first restaurant in Peru.
Lots of Peruvian transplants eat at Malulo's, savoring traditional dishes like anticuchos (skewered beef heart), chaufa de pollo (fried rice with chicken) and the country's famed ceviches. But everyone will feel welcome. Reiterer's husband, Hans, is a great help explaining dishes and making recommendations.
Ambience: Opened six years ago, the 60-seat Pompano Beach restaurant is decorated with clay wind chimes, blankets and other mementos from home and brightened with red and white tablecloths.