La Gloria – Restaurant Review
By Melanie Bayly
La Gloria started 14 years ago out of a whim and soon became a favorite. Located in the heart of Miraflores and built in a classic Miraflores house, with its tall narrow doors and high roofs.
When you walk through the front door you have the bar on the left hand side and the dinning room straight ahead. The bar, has a lot of light coming in from its large windows, it has green all around which gives it a home-like feeling, as if you were in your terrace having a drink. The main focus is the bar, and of course the barman. Jose has been a bartender for the most part of his life, and still carries the same youthful energy while shaking the Pisco sour we ordered. Oscar says he is quite the character; he won’t give into favoritisms, not even with him. What can I say about the Pisco Sour shaken with years of experience, it was delicious, smooth, chilled just right and with about an inch of foam.
To get to the dinning room you walk through a small vestibule, then pass through another door which opens up into an intimate dinning room. Cream and greenish grey colored walls give a warm neutral contrast to the beautiful paintings hanging all over. There are a couple of mirrors which help with lighting and help with space. The tables are a bit close together, but this just adds to the charm of eating with friends, since most clients know each other and end up talking from table to table.
Instead of bread they have the idea of serving pejerrey with a bit of lemon. Even though I took my time to try it, it kept its crunchiness. This just opens up your appetite. The first thing Oscar brought out was the Gravlax Andino, he uses trout instead of salmon and Andean herbs such as huacatay, chincho and muña and some Pisco to macerate the fish for about 8 hours, this gives the fish a nice Andean flavor, it transport you. The tender fish is served with Huancaina sauce, but not the usual liquid sauce this one was deliciously chunky and thick yet airy, made with goat cheese; Garnished with a grated fried potato which added a crunchy texture to the plate and some. At one end there was an olive salt, made at the restaurant, this was a good surprise.
Then we had the Crujiente Cogollo de Tudela. The Cogollo de Tudela is a type of lettuce which Oscar grown in his organic orchard in Pachacamac, he brought the seeds from Spain and now they are growing beautifully, needles to say all vegetables used at the restaurant are grown there. The lettuce is a mix between the romaine and the criolla lettuce, the shape is like the romaine an oval shape with curly leaves like the criolla. They are served sliced in half and topped with a trout vinaigrette made with mustard seeds, which has a nice salty fishy taste. Served with a mixture of concasse tomato and avocado crowned by slices of smoked trout and some watercress.
Then came a dish perfect for cold winter days, the Sopa de Porconcini y alcachofas. It is made with the glorious Porcon mushrooms grown in Cajamarca and pink peppercorns, served with a poached egg. The soup was flavorful and extremely hot, I burnt my mouth a bit but it was completely worth it. The egg was soft and the yolk was liquid great when mixed with the mushrooms. This is not a soup to be shared and for the last drops just drink them straight from the bowl, Oscar will cheer you on!
After came the Grilled Paiche with yucca puree made with a hint of wasabi, served with a passion fruit sauce and topped with a crocante de ajonjolí. The fish was excellent, cooked until it was still juicy inside. The puree was soft with a nice after sting from the wasabi. The sauce went well with both the fish and the puree since it wasn’t a sweet sauce, it still had a soft acid taste.
The other fish we had was the Corvina en costar de Comino with frijolito verde puree and a caramelized onion sauce served with sautéed watercress. Like the Paiche the Corvina was tender, the puree was excellent as well and the onion sauce with red wine was a good compliment to the fish. The sautéed watercress was a good garnish, a vegetable not seen as much in restaurants but is has a nice neutral flavor and it gives a beautiful color green to the dishes.
Last but definitely not least was the Risotto al Vino Tinto con Vainitas y Cola de Buey Estofada. Oxtail is one of my favorite cuts of meat, when cooked right it is tender and breaks away just by looking at it as was this one, it has a strong taste; it was nicely paired with the al dente red wine risotto with green beans.
Before Oscar brought out the desserts he invited us some off the menu sorbets. They were Sacha tomate, Apple and Hyacatay, Muña, Chincho and Huacatay, all deliciously different. They are not yet on the menu he still wants to improve them. We felt privileged to be one of the first who tried these sorbets. Now came the real desserts. First came a caramelized Pineapple served with a brandy sabayón sauce and topped off with a pepper ice cream. The picture just speaks by itself, the pineapple is warm when it comes to the table and the ice cream is just starting to melt, so eat fast and if you are not at the table don’t expect the rest to save you a piece.
Then a chocolate lover’s fantasy the Fraicheur chocolat, it has a fudgy brownie with pecans at the bottom, then a layer of thick chocolate mousse and bathed in dark chocolate. I suggest you ask for a scoop of the Sacha Tomate sorbet and a strong espresso as well.
Then something to nibble on, a Pastelillo relleno de chocolate with Cinnamon Ice cream and a shot of Lúcuma with Pisco. The pastelillo was warm, crispy and airy filled with a very liquid chocolate sauce, be careful you might stain your clothes. The Cinnamon Ice cream was a good match and the Lúcuma with Pisco just excellent. Try and dip the pastelillo in the lúcuma. I would definitely order this again.
As if it weren’t enough we still had the Crema Quemada de Coco with Tapioca with coconut and caramelized ginger and a coconut and Amaretto shot. The cream was warm and light with hard caramel on top, the tapioca felt like little pears dancing around in your mouth and the coconut Amaretto a good ending.
After such a wonderful meal and great company both our hearts and bellies were satisfied.
Oscar Velarde is a very easy going guy, the best of companies when he’s around. He is an avid biker and loves life.
His father raised him and his brothers to be extraordinary and to follow their hearts; this is why one is a musician and the other an artist. It was his father the one who cultured their palates. It was a natural thing for Oscar to open up a restaurant; however he didn’t know it until one day the name La Gloria just popped into his head. The hard part was looking for something that fit the name, and he found the perfect match a restaurant.
He had no experience with restaurants so far, so he started by measuring tables at other restaurants this is where he met Gonzalo Angosto, whom after hearing about Oscar’s idea offered himself as head chef. He helped with La Gloria’s splendid entrance into Lima`s dinning scene.
The first few months were great but as many restaurants experience they had a small decrease in the months that followed, which gave way to not only a menu transformation but a new head chef arrived, Rafael Osterling, with fresh ideas and a whole new energy. This helps La Gloria become one of the three best restaurants in Lima and voted number one by our readers.
Now Luis Alberto Sacilotto is head chef and has as much an easy going personality as Oscar.
Everyone who works there has started at the bottom and worked their way up, this not only makes them part of the family but lets them bring something to the table.
La Gloria will be 14 in October, but Oscar celebrates every passing year with all his employees, considered more as family, in Pachacamac playing football, eating and having a good time.
He has a couple other restaurants, La Dalmacia in Lima and La Cicciolina in Cuzco. He has been offered to take La Gloria abroad but is thinking in more as a partnership than opening them as his own. As we were sharing a meal he said he was thinking of opening up a new one in Pachacamac in his orchard, we hope he makes this project a reality and no doubt it will become a hit.
: Calle Atahualpa 201, Miraflores
: 445 5705 / 446 6504
: Monday – Saturday Lunch from 1:00pm ; Dinner from 8:00 pm
Menu in English
: ALL major cards.
Catering for special dietary needs
: S/. 12.00
: Not recommended, they have a very good wine list
Expect to spend
: $ 35.00 to $40.00
Add a comment :
betti says :
Interesting review, but if you check the on-line reviews by others, you will find that the majority rated this restaurant average or less. Maybe they were trying to impress you that day.
Ken says :
I've heard its noisy and a terrible dining experience. Not to mention it's way too expensive for what you get. Apparently they rolled out the red carpet for Melanie.
Extensive LIP Gloria Review
Marco Bretoneche says :
This review doesn't match my own experience,
i have had a terrible time there and i definitly wouldn't go back to that restaurant ever again , the food was average and way too expensive for what it was.
The tables were so close together we couldn't help listening to the conversation of the people sitting next to us, it was just awfull!
There are so many good restaurants in Lima, so please check them out.
Lorena Sara-Lafosse says :
I've been there several times and, although I agree it is a bit noisy, I believe it is one of the best restaurants in Lima.
Margarita Baldoceda says :
OUR EXPERIENCE WAS TERRIBLE AT LA GLORIA. THE FOOD IS OVERRATED, TOO SIMPLE FOR WHAT THEY SAY THEY OFFER. THEY DID NOT HAVE PEOPLE READY AT OPENING TIME AND THE TABLES WERE TOO CLOSE, WE COULD NOT TALK WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH THE CONVERSATION IN THE NEXT TABLE. NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED FOR THE MONEY THEY CHARGED¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
Mark Simpson says :
I've visited this restaurant last week, and I must say the tables are crammed, there is no privacy at all. The food is average for its price. I can call this restaurant "luxirious combi" if you know what I mean. Because there you will feel like in a combi on the streets of Lima: jammed between people, listening to their noisy talk... only the fare will be unreasonably high. Never go there again.
Sergio Alejandro Lira Pinedo says :
This is by far the best restaurant in the whole Perù. Many of the nouvelle cuisine inspired restaurants are gastronomical hoaxes, this is the real thing, I strongly reccomend it
Anthony Collins says :
Heyyyyyyyyyy, these revealing comments on La Gloria are certainly the most extreme and varied. Stepping back from the adjectives, the obvious conclusion is that La Gloria with it´s highly mannered and quaint menu is loved by an "in group", hence arousing strong feelings. Welcome to the world of mega-chic in Lima !!! Just as I commented recently on La Mar and Chez Wong, a number of cult restaurants with their (con)-fusion cuisine in Lima overshadow with rhetoric and notoriety some magnificently reliable alternatives: including Punta Sal, El Senorio de Sulco, La Rosa Nautica and not forgetting La Esquina wine bar.