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Chef of the Moment: Los Balcones' Walter Rodriguez, with Peruvian bento boxes up his sleeve

Walter Rodriguez is the chef and co-owner, along with his brothers Jorge and Eduardo, of Peruvian restaurant Los Balcones in the heart of Hollywood.

The brothers grew up in Ica, Peru, moved to Los Angeles during a fraught political era in their home country and found that much of their new life still centered on family gatherings and food.

Missing traditional Peruvian cuisine, they decided to open a restaurant, Balcones del Peru. That was nearly 20 years ago. Nine years ago, they moved into the space that now houses Los Balcones at De Longpre Avenue and Vine Street, which they just remodeled with a new full bar serving Peruvian cocktails.

Jorge oversees operations, and Eduardo runs the front of the house.

On the Los Balcones menu is a mix of authentic Peruvian dishes plus some twists on tradition, modern plates and family favorites.

What’s coming up next on your menu?

For years I have been dreaming of creating a Peruvian bento box, and I am currently working on the ceviche version of this for when we reopen for lunch.

Latest ingredient obsession?

Cheese.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again, and what do you order?

Sushi Gen for sashimi at lunch time, and Indian-style curry noodle soup [called General’s Noodles] at Sanam Luang late night.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives?

I do not let anyone touch my Peruvian clay pot.

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Torrejas, sort of a Peruvian frittata; a bit of spicy rocoto sauce; crusty bread and coffee ... heaven.

Los Balcones, 1360 Vine St., Los Angeles, (323) 871-9600.

ALSO:  

Blacktop espresso bar to open downtown

Michael Puglisi goes whole pig at Picnik in Pasadena

At Pine & Crane in Silver Lake, beef rolls and 'three cup chicken'

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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