We are taking a look at Casa Zoraya, perfect Peruvian food classics
written by Jen Stevenson | photos by Gwen Holle
Buried in a trafficy, nondescript block of North Lombard just east of the interstate, this unexpected slice of Lima life is drawing Portland diners both curious and already besotted with its perfect Pisco sours, vibrant ceviches, and rich, robust Peruvian comfort food classics. Helmed by namesake and Andina alum Zoraya Zambrano, whose family originally emigrated from Calca, a town in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas, and her children, Gloria and Gary Marmanillo (Andina, Paiche, Can Font, DOC), the color-splashed restaurant’s menu is short and sweet, no more than a dozen dishes melding local produce with traditional Peruvian ingredients like ají chile, lucuma fruit and choclo, a chewy, starchy, large-kerneled Andean corn.
The beautifully executed—and plated—fare ranges from prismatic shrimp causas to an ultra-savory lomo saltado to chunks of raw wild Pacific Northwest salmon and halibut swimming in a bold, bright tiger’s milk. For dessert, bite into the homemade alfajores, flaky disks of shortbread layered with cherimoya and lucuma-laced dulce de leche, or indulge in the picarones, a quartet of cinnamon, anise and clove- spiced sweet potato doughnuts. For your second dessert, another round of cholitas, a festive jumble of pisco, strawberry, basil, lemon and cava, which may or may not be followed by a round of impromptu marinera dancing (bring your handkerchiefs, just in case).
841 N LOMBARD ST. PORTLAND