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Food Porn Friday | Eqeko | DTSA

We ventured out to Downtown Santa Ana for Cinco de Mayo hoping to get our drink and grub on at any proper Mexican spot, but sadly, everything was booked for a last minute reservation that day bringing us to Eqeko Peruvian Cuisine as a backup.

The entry is super cute with brick-lined, ivy clad façade housing a small 30 person capacity for indoor seating. There was only 1 other table dining that night, a total surprise to us considering Cinco de Drinko is a national holiday in these parts. 5 minutes after being seated we quickly realized why. They don't serve hard liquor. Omg epic fail, lol.

Here's what's on the menu today my loves:

Jalea (pictured above): Seasoned & Battered Fresh Fish, Calamari, Shrimp, & Mussels. Served with Yucca, Cancha, Salsa Criolla Al Aji Amarillo & Homemade Tarter Sauce. This was the best dish on the menu as the batter was perfectly seasoned and the seafood came out freshly fried. Bonus points for the mussels- I've rarely enjoyed them this way but the tartar sauce cuts right through the juicy deep fried goodness.

Lomo Saltado: Steak sauted with red onion, tomatoes, seasoned with soy sauce and served
with rice. We were grossly disappointed with this staple Peruvian dish. The meat was super dry, like it was pre-cooked and served up again for this dish. Barely any protein to fries ratio and the flavors just crept off the plate with each passing bite. Awful.

Chaufa de Pollo: Peruvian fried rice with a wok fried chicken, egg, green onions, ginger, and soy sauce. Horrific. The rice was dry but covered in greasy oil, the egg overcooked to smithereens, and you can barely catch a glimpse of any chicken in this dish.

Chicharron de Pollo Sliders: Aji panca marinated chicken fried & served with salsa criolla & a spicy andean huacatay sauce on a slider roll. Served with camote (sweet potato) chips. The chicken was so tough and dry, we all took a tiny bite and left the rest untouched.

Aji de Gallina: Shredded chicken in a sauce made with Peruvian aji amarillo & walnuts.
Actually a very sophisticated dish that reminds me of Vietnamese chicken curry. If you like the soft braised texture of crock pot chicken, you'll love this.

Empanadas filled with seasoned ground beef.
Served with aji amarillo sauce. Great flavors, well executed, but nothing extraordinary.

Causa: Aji amarillo seasoned potato terrine filled with home made tuna salad & rocoto aioli.
This dish may not look like the most appetizing plate on the menu but the tuna salad topper was a refreshing delight against the mushy mashed potatoes. Needs a crunchy topper for texture. Pass.

Tacu- Tacu: Peruvian bean and rice patty seasoned with aji amarillo & green onions. Topped with a fried egg & salsa criolla. The patty had a nice char on it but the fried egg was overly cooked to a rubbery finish and killed this dish.

Seco de carne: Braised beef cilantro stew served with Peruvian canario beans and rice. Topped with salsa criolla. Another dish with a poor protein ratio. Flavors are there but I need some meat dammit!

309 W. 3rd St
Santa Ana, CA
(714) 547-7868

While the bartender serves up a simple sangria mixed cocktail, there was hardly enough alcohol in there to satiate us past the appetizers.

So word to the wise:
Pre-drink somewhere else and make Eqeko a starter spot for quick appetizers and keep it moving y'all.

Bon Appétit mes amis!