DATE NIGHT: January 7, 2012 @ 5 PM
Someday I will go to Machu Picchu, bask in the Peruvian sun,and drink plenty of chicha morada and sangria. Before that happens, I will just have to satisfy myself with the Peruvian food in the Bay Area.
Fresca serves good homey Peruvian comfort food.
Fresca's decor is modern but simple. The restaurant is narrow, small and cramped. It is the right venue for cozy dining but not intimate. An open kitchen is located in the back of the restaurant while not so comfortable-looking bar type tables and chairs were available outside for al fresco dining. Service was friendly and efficient.
SANGRIA $8/glass or $22/pitcher
A good Sangria can set the mood for a delightful dining experience. (Or a weak one could ruin it.) Fresca's Sangria did just that for me. Strong yet well-balanced. The only fruit were the cubed apple pieces but the fruit were obviously well-soaked in the red wine before it was served chilled. Refreshing, very nice and easy to drink. It was worth the $8 price which I thought at a little too much at first.
CEVICHE TRIO $16
Fresca has a pretty extensive ceviche bar. They could be ordered a la carte or as tastings of 3 or 4. We opted for Cevice Trio.
1.Ceviche de Coco - ahi tuna, coconut leche, red jalapeño, ginger, scallion oil, honey cashews.
2. Ceviche Chino - ahi tuna, guacamole, ponzu sauce, lettuce cups, aji verde, wonton chips.
3. Ceviche ¡Pasion! - ahi tuna, salmon, passion fruit, red onion, aji amarillo, cilantro, purple corn.
*I really enjoyed the ceviche at Fresca. They were very fresh and well-marinated. My fave was the coconut ceviche for its creaminess.
FRIED PLANTAIN CHIPS $5
We were asked if we wanted Plantain Chips. We thought it was like getting tortilla chips but they were not free. However, they were worth paying for. They were freshly cripsy fried savory banana chips. We used them to scoop out the ceviche resulting in multidimensional texture in our mouth.
PESCADO A LO MACHO $24
Crispy fried whole dorade, spicy tomato sofrito sauce, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, calamari, white rice.
*Ginormous plate of whole fried fish--head and tail. The plate was also a chockful of yummy fresh clams, mussels, etc. This was a very generous meal. The highlight for me was the seafood which were plump, fresh and delicious! The fried fish was a disappointment. It was bland although fresh but far from crispy. It did not have a single crunch to it.
BISTEK A LO POBRE $27
Grilled rib-eye steak, caramelized onion, mashed potatoes, sweet plantains, fried egg.
*My man wanted roasted chicken but it was not available. This was a simple meal of steak au poivre but plentiful. He enjoyed his properly cooked medium-rare steak.
I think we can take pride in being able to put our food away. However, we went home with half-finished meals. They were good but the portions were big. We barely put a dent in our fish and steak dishes. I had 2 more meals with our leftovers.
CHECK: $106 w/ tax, tip, sangria and soda
*Fresca is the perfect pre-movie dinner/drinks venue in the Fillmore/J-Town area.
*Offers 1000 points on OpenTable.