photo credit: Tasty Planet
Salmon & Salmon
While many of Miami’s Peruvian restaurants have adopted the more recent style of Peruvian dining, Salmon & Salmon continues to follow the older Limeño spots that modeled themselves on classic European-style restaurants while serving typical Creole dishes. A meal here starts with warm rolls and a small bowl of nutty homemade ají sauce. A causa appetizer follows the traditional recipe but is elegantly plated—the potato and seafood cake is molded in a flower shape and served on a bed of lettuce with squiggles of sweet and creamy salsa golf—and steak dishes are accompanied by carved potato flowers. However, the chicharrón de pescado appetizer might be the best thing here: a mountain of breaded and fried fish chunks crowned with a tangle of sarsa criolla. As an entrée, you should ask for the off-menu combo of lomo saltado on top of a massive plate of tacu tacu, a crispy fried rice and bean cake.
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Back when finding a properly made lomo saltado was a rarity in Miami, Salmon & Salmon was one of the few places that did it correctly—and their version is still great. They use big chunks of sirloin (the traditional cut for this dish), the onions are crisp but not raw, the tomatoes are just blistered without falling apart, and the french fries are hot and crunchy. Everything is a little charred from being stir-fried in a pan so hot it probably hurts to look at. Plus, the amount of sauce is perfect—enough to wet your rice without making everything soggy. It’s just a good example of what a traditional lomo saltado should be.
This is one of the more difficult Peruvian dishes to make because if you don’t flip this rice and bean cake in the pan just right, everything will fall apart. Salmon Salmon’s version comes to the table flat as a disc—almost like a Spanish tortilla—indicating that they only fried one side. However, we’ll give them a pass because the stewed canary beans they make for this dish are flavorful and creamy and they leave the tacu tacu in the pan long enough to get a really beautiful, crunchy crust.