Jose Calvo-Perez and his wife Zolla arrived in California in 1978 from Lima, Peru. The two of them have now taken San Francisco by charge and opened Pasion and three Fresca’s restaurants. Both restaurants embody all the memories rooted in the fundamentals of traditional Peruvian cooking infused with an Asian, Afro-Peruvian and Californian infusion. I have gone to the Fresca on Fillmore for a few years now and each time I am surprised by the combinations of ingredients they put together.
I highly recommend you make a reservation at Fresca, it is always packed. With 1,345 reviews on Yelp and averaging at four stars, Fresca is a restaurant that has become popular for more than one reason: great food, intriguing flavors, great service, and fluid design. The integrity and commitment to excellence that Jose and Zolla say they have is true. It is demonstrated by the freshness of ingredients used in the dishes; its a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, fine meats, sea-food and fresh fish. Educating customers pallets with traditional Peruvian dishes but keep you thinking with the Asian twist they give each dish. I have primarily gone to Fresca for dinner and the dishes I would highly recommend are:
- Ceviche de Coco – ahi tuna, lime, coconut juice, rocoto, green onions, purple corn.
- Hamachi Tiradito – Peruvian style sashimi, jalapeño soy, white truffle oil, Indian corn.
- El Toro Steak – sautéed steak strips, mixed greens, onion, tomato, avocado, creamy cilantro dressing.
- El Atun – pink peppercorn crusted ahi tuna, purple potato puree, papaya salsa criolla, “aguaymanto” port sauce.
- Salmon – pan roasted sustainable salmon, squid ink calamari rice, rocoto aioli, dill chimichurri, salsa criolla.
- Lomo Saltado – wok fried tenderloin steak strips, onion, tomato, cilantro, soy, french fries, jasmine rice.
- Platanos Fritos– fried sweet plantains, sour cream, pickled onions.
In the Future, Jose Calvo-Perez is looking to open one more restaurant and bar in Pacifica, California. Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar will be a 140-seater inside the Pacifica Beach Hotel, serving up ocean views and a fitting menu of “authentic Peruvian small plates.” With the cocktail menu expected to be similar to Pasion, which was created by Enrique Sanchez. Also, there will be murals from Michael Brennan. With the restaurant, not even being open yet Yelp already has six reviews. Get excited about more intriguing Peruvian food in the bay area!