09 December 2007


i know, i know. you are skeptical. you think, there is NO WAY IN HELL it's the same MARIO'S PERUVIAN RESTAURANT as on Melrose and Vine, next to the Radio Shack and Popeye's, across the street from that church. there is absolutely no way it is the same saltado de ______, the same ceviche mixto, the same inka cola, for chrissakes.

then, you pull into a parking lot across from a steinmart and a mexican restaurant, next to a burger place, on the intersection of IMPERIAL HIGHWAY and SANTA GERTRUDES in la mirada. the place looks like an old Coco's Restaurant, which in fact, it IS. you walk up to the door, and there is no queue of ravenous mario's lovers. you walk inside and you're greeted by a manager guy in beige shirt and slacks. you're seated in what definitely used to be a Coco's Restaurant. then, they hand you the menu...

YES! it is the same menu, pale yellow in colour, laminated, with the peruvian carving/design on the cover with the black block lettering. you're thinking, "hmmm, could this possibly be the same mario's?" YES, it is the SAME saltado, ceviche, and inka cola...and the flan...except, NO HOUR LONG+ WAIT FOR A TABLE! in fact, the food is as fast as the original store, but there are many, many empty tables waiting for you to fill!

i have gone to the original location for over ten years now. i have travelled from my home in orange county to the original location in hollywood. i used to bring it home on occasion, condensation on the inside of the styrofoam container, devouring my bread after dipping it in the perfectly spicy green sauce on the drive home. NOW, it is YOUR turn to take a little drive to Mario's in La Mirada. you won't regret it. oh, but don't forget to ask for some lemon.


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