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“a taste of Peru in Encinitas”
Review of Q'ero Restaurant

Q'ero Restaurant
Ranked #28 of 314 Restaurants in Encinitas
Price range: US$10 - US$15
Cuisines: Peruvian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: D St. / E St.
Reviewed 6 October 2013

I lived for a year in Cusco, Peru, and since my family (based in SD) was not able to visit me there, I was excited to be able to share a bit of the Peru food experience here at home. I made reservations via OpenTable the day before with no problem. We tried the empanadas which were ok, but a bit on the dry side and salteñas hailing from Bolivia were very good. For entrees we sampled the seco de cordero (lamb shank), chupe the camarones (fish in seafood sauce), and the aji de gallina (shredded chicken in a cheesy yellow pepper sauce. My dad (who has worked in the food industry for 30+ years) is very hard to impress when it comes to eating out, but based on his reaction, this place gets a major thumbs up. We also liked the candlelit ambiance, traditional textile tablecloths, and Peruvian kitsch on the walls. Peru is making a big gastronomic splash around the world, and this little restaurant makes a memorable contribution with its inventive flavors, careful preparation, and mouthwatering presentation. Definitely worth a try.

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Thank andariega_6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 85 of 150 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2013

This is a very small restaurant that is always full. You should make reservations. The food is excellent. We had the lamb shank and the bifsteak both of which are outstanding .the service is excellent

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Thank Tzipster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

This restaurant came highly recommended and I personally thought it was just "okay". Maybe it's because I have been to Peru twice and had higher expectations? Or maybe it was due to our waitress having a rather "cold" presentation/style. I can't quite put my finger on it, but overall it was just an average experience.

It is not the place for much intimate conversation, as the tables are very close together as well.

Also, there were a few people celebrating birthdays that night. It was my boyfriends birthday the following night so when he went to the bathroom I asked if we could do something for his birthday, as a surprise. The waitress said we can order a dessert off of the menu and they would put a candle in it. The desserts which were brought out to the other tables were the same and appeared to be complimentary. I can afford to purchase a dessert. I was not trying to get something for nothing. But I definitely felt an air of judgment coming from the waitress when I asked about the birthday dessert options. Again, her manner was a bit "icy".

Obviously, this place gets great reviews so they must be appealing to most people. I would personally not return.

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Thank LoisSedona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

What a find! I can't recall ever having eaten Peruvian food before, but this was terrific, one of the "foodie highlights" of our trip to California. Q'ero is on the main street at the north end of Encinitas - I'd definitely recommend booking a table as the restaurant is small and it's very popular (understandably, as the food, drinks and service here are top notch).

We started with "pisco sours", which were new to us. They're a popular Peruvian cocktail made from pisco (obviously!) and lime with some syrup and egg white, which adds a froth on top. Very refreshing!

As a vegetarian, I found plenty of choice here, in fact I ended up ordering three vegetarian dishes from the tapas-style "cositas" menu so that I could sample a wider range. They were all delicious, and used ingredients that I don't often encounter, such as plantain.

Service was excellent too, and all the wait staff are clearly well trained. Be aware that this is not a cheap place to dine; salads are around $15, main dishes around $25-30. They are worth every penny though - dining here has opened my eyes to a new style of cuisine, and not only will I make Q'Ero an absolute must next time I visit Encinitas, I am also going to try making Peruvian dishes back home in England.

Finally, a big thanks to the people of Encinitas. Such is the happy vibe of Q'ero that we struck up conversations with diners on the tables next to us; in particular Scott and Melissa were super friendly and made us feel very welcome in their beautiful town.

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Thank CotswoldFish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2013

We had guests in from out of town and wanted to have a special celebration meal before they went home. We decided to do something different and take them to Q'ero for Peruvian. Everyone loved it! The whole experience was great, and my pork shank was delicious, but the tres leches was outstanding!!! Definitely highly recommend.

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Thank Kendell L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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