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Meaghan

El Chalan, Old-School Peruvian at 19th & I Street - Downtown near Farragut West

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I'm being taken here tomorrow for the first time.  What should I order?

The closest thing to a Meat and Three that you can find!

That, or carryout from Kaz. :lol:

In all seriousness, I'd like nothing better than to hear a good report on this restaurant. I last went several years ago, after having it ranked pretty highly and in Italic, but it really came across as fusty, old, weathered, and surpassed by numerous Peruvian restaurants in the area - I honestly think it may have, at one time, been the best Peruvian restaurant in DC, but that time has come and gone.

Please prove me wrong? This is one of those "I wanted to like it, but ...." places.

My guess - and it's just a guess based on outdated information - is that you won't dislike it, but you'll understand what I'm saying.

You know, there are plenty of excellent Peruvian cooks in the DC area, and who's to say that one of them hasn't started working here? El Chalan has a name, a reputation, and longevity, and all it takes is one talented cook who was looking for a job. That's why your review is going to be so important - discoveries *do* happen. (If it's good, get the name of the chef!)

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Get ceviche, and either the Cabrito Norteno or the Lomo Saltado - all Peruvian classics. And all dishes that they have executed well in the past, so this would be the best clue as to whether they are still doing it right.

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I had dinner here a couple of weeks ago.  Interior aesthetic, totally dated.  But the ceviche, at least that night, was the best I've ever had in DC.  The lomo saltado was dry that evening- not my favorite. The goat stew however was perfect and i'll go back for that dish alone.  Good pisco sours too.

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DanielK and CajunJason were basically right.  It didn't suck.  The ceviche mixto was excellent, though I didn't eat the accompanying corn and what looked like sweet potato (?).  My friend's arroz con mariscos looked sad and perfunctory.  But the goat stew was solid, though one or two pieces were dry.  

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