O'Lima Offers a Panoply of Peruvian Dishes

Pulpo a la parrillaEXPAND
Pulpo a la parrilla
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Ensconced in Bay Harbor Islands is a Peruvian restaurant with a menu that might be bigger than its dining room. That's because its chef, German Gonzales, adds to it almost daily.

"I wake up in the middle of the night with new recipe ideas, write them all down, come into the restaurant in the morning, and put them together without a second thought, knowing that it will taste different from everything else," Gonzales says. The chef says Peruvian food is a fusion of Incan, African, Asian, Italian, and Spanish cultures. "I have plenty to work with to offer guests intriguing experiences."

An expansive indoor-outdoor, 1,800-square-foot eatery, O'Lima Signature Cuisine first opened in 2015 as a fine-dining concept but eventually went through a change of partners. After some renovations, it reopened in December 2018 as a casual eatery with more than 80 items to choose from. "The neighborhood's familial vibe and its proximity to the beach demanded a more relaxed atmosphere," Gonzales says. "Patrons now feel comfortable coming in any time of the day."

While Peruvian food still forms the base of O'Lima's menu, Gonzales ventures beyond his home country's recipes, mixing in dishes and techniques he gleaned while cooking at restaurants in Costa Rica, Japan, China, and Orlando.

Start your meal with the grilled ceviche a la brasa, available with fish ($20) or mixed seafood ($22);  escargot ceviche served in a yellow pepper sauce topped with chalaquita tomatoes ($16.99); or yuquitas O'Lima, soft handmade yuca purée croquettes stuffed with Gouda cheese and Huancaína sauce ($13). Continue with one of the tiraditos — a cross between ceviche and sashimi — like the Maracuya, made with thin slices of salmon in a creamy passionfruit sauce ($16.99), or the Nikkei, with thin slices of tuna in a tasty Mexican-Nikkei fusion sauce ($18.00).

Main course highlights include lomocucho marinated in an anticucho sauce and served with grilled potatoes and asparagus ($29.99);  fiocchi de pera pasta filled with gorgonzola cheese and pear in a chicha morada sauce ($24); and pulpo a la parrilla in Peruvian panka sauce served with grilled potatoes and rocoto sauce ($35.99). From the Chinese-Peruvian menu of dishes, try the kam-lu wantán, made with fried wonton, pear, chicken, shrimp, quail eggs, and tamarindo sweet sauce ($18.99).

O'Lima's list of sweet endings features a passionfruit mousse, tres leches, and the bonbón de lucuma, a fruit native to the Andean valleys of Peru and Ecuador ($10 each). The selection of pisco sour options, Peru's national drink, includes classic and a passionfruit option.

O'Lima Signature Cuisine. 1052 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Islands; 305-864-4392; olimamiami.com. Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.; Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

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