The Valley is a weird place. Seriously. Despite having worked there for more than two years, I had no idea that there was a section of Van Nuys that felt like being transported to downtown LA. Yet, to grab some Peruvian at Puro Sabor, I found myself in said section. It was definitely weird, but usually the strangest parts of town have the best food. I hoped this would be the case.
To start with, the service at Puro Sabor isn’t the most impressive. When you want something, you have to ask. I like not having pushy waitstaff, but this was borderline lazy. Yet, it is always refreshing to not have the bill thrust in your face immediately after being served.
Anyway, let’s get to the food, of which I ordered the classic lomo saltado. The dish is basically stir-fried steak and fries, with onions, parsley and tomatoes as well. Of course, the lomo has seasonings, which elevate the dish to something more than boring. The lomo at Puro Sabor also came with a ball of rice as well. And, while I would typically have ordered without the vegetables, my lunch buddy wanted to try them and I knew from experience that the veggies in lomo saltado came big.
Fortunately, I was right, and the food looked delicious. More importantly, though, it also tasted pretty damn good. The steak was tender and the fries managed to avoid getting too soggy – a key to my lomo saltado-eating experience. Yet, all of this would have been nothing without good flavor and Puro Sabor had that. In fact, if they didn’t they would probably have to change their name.
Yet, while I was quite happy with my food, it didn’t do anything to amaze me. In a way, this was a good thing, as Puro Sabor stayed true to its roots and didn’t make a crazy lomo saltado fusion dish. In another way, I can now say from experience that it is unnecessary to drive all the way to the bizarro world of Van Nuys to get it. If you have a local Peruvian place, it will likely suffice.