It doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t advertise and it doesn’t occupy the most attractive retail space in the Lake Highlands area, but what Cuzco Latin Cuisine lacks in shine, it makes up for in quality and authenticity. Chef Consuelo Mantilla, a Peruvian native, specializes in seafood dishes, which reign king at Cuzco. Menu-favorite Jalea is a lightly fried seafood platter piled high with ceviche, oysters, calamari, shrimp, crab, potatoes, salsa criolla (a traditional onion relish) and yuca (a potato-like fruit) served with blazing salsa de rocoto. A sizeable “one-person” platter is $12.99. Or get twice as much for $17.99. The carnivorous set might prefer the Lomo Saltado ($10.99), a beloved Peruvian marinated beef dish served with basmati rice, onions and tomato with pisco and soy sauces. “Peruvian food blends Japanese and Asian flavors, using soy and, of course, some unique spices and sauces,” explains co-owner Maribel Cortez. Cuzco offers a full bar — try the signature Pisco Sour or the non-alcoholic chicha morada — and live music on Thursdays and every other Saturday. The house act, 214, plays salsa and merengue music that drives diners to Cuzco’s dance floor, which is situated under a spinning disco ball.
Cuzco Latin Cuisine
Three more spots for Latin-inspired fare
1 La Duni Latin Kitchen
Black beans, Mojo sauce, scrambled eggs — this Latin café combines European and Latin American traditions for an authentic Mestizo experience. Don’t leave without sampling the fresh brewed altura coffee and a Pastel Gloria Danish-style pastry.
2 El Castor Seafood Bar and Grill
This diamond in the rough serves seafood-centered cuisine with staples that include shrimp stuffing and grilled cactus.
Meadow & Central
Corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and pork (pupusas), ceviche and Tex-Mex platters have made this restaurant, on Greenville just south of Mockingbird Lane, a long-running favorite.
Greenville & Martel