Donde Hiro is run by Peruvians of Peruvian-Japanese extraction who have returned to Japan (Hiro is the chef/owner). The large TV is always blaring Latin American MTV. The decor includes Andean indio craft hangings and soccer trophies displayed on the shelf behind the cash register. The extensive menu is in Spanish and Japanese, with many photos. Beer, Inca Kola, and chicha morada are on offer. It’s located in Oppama, the next station up the Keikyu line from Taura. We walk there from our house in about 30 minutes to work up an appetite because the servings are like distances in the New World, vast, hard to navigate, picturesque, full of strange new creatures and—nevermind—they have big plates.

OK, so my man’s not Peruvian, he’s originally from Bolivia, but he lived in Peru when he was young, and there are many similarities between Peruvian and Bolivian Andean dishes. [Bolivia lacks the coastline for the fish dishes due to some disastrous international relations moves in 1879-83, but need we bring that up now as the constitution is being rewritten and the wealthy provinces are declaring autonomy?]

So, this post goes out to my Bolivian family members who, I know, will have hambre at the sight of fried potatoes and rice and meat and aji

Donde Hiro’s mixed ceviche, made with “rebodo” (we have no idea what fish this is in either Spanish or Japanese, anyone?), octopus, clams, squid, shrimp, mote (fried hominy corn), choclo (fresh hominy corn), camote (yuca in Peru, but in the photo a sweet potato), red onion, and fresh hot peppers. Fantastic.

Milanesa de carne (breaded and fried pounded beef) with french fries. They serve a hot hot hot salsa de aji on the side.

I kiss you lomo saltado, a stirfry of beef, french fries, fresh tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Served with Japanese rice, which is so good it makes me a little crazy weepy.

Not pictured: a follow-on piece of homemade chocolate and coconut cake drizzled with dulce de leche.

Where’s Neruda when you need him? OK so he’s not Peruvian either, but here’s to the french fry:

en el aceite
la alegría
del mundo:
las papas
en la sartén
como nevadas
de cisne matutino
y salen
semidoradas por el crepitante
ámbar de las olivas.