Restaurant talk: Cuzco Latin Cuisine

At Cuzco's bar, try a pisco sour or the non-alcoholic purple-corn drink.

It’s tucked away in a rundown shopping center known mostly for shady nightclubs and a parking-lot shooting that happened a couple years back. If you can get past that, you’ll find some top notch eats in the 9200 block of Skillman. (And no, this isn’t exactly East Dallas, but if you hop on Skillman and cross Northwest Highway, it’s just a couple miles north.) For one, there’s Michelle’s Homestyle Cooking, which recently moved in from across the street. A couple doors down is a true diamond in the rough, Cuzco Latin Cuisine.

I had been curious about this place since it opened almost two years ago. I stopped by once, on a Monday, and learned that they are closed Mondays. Finally, The Advocate got in to doing some sampling and photo shooting. I was giddy over our find — the staff is incredibly friendly, genuine and talented. Chef Consuelo Mantilla, who they all call Connie, is from Peru and she specializes in the seafood dishes that rule the menu. The most impressive was the giant Jalea Platter — read about that and other popular Peruvian dishes here or in the Lake Highlands Advocate April issue.

Cuzco offers late hours, live music and dancing on Thursdays and a full bar at which they serve a popular and potent potable called a Pisco Sour. As for the non-alcoholic bevs, I am hooked on the chicha morada, a sweet and clove-y juice made from purple corn.

The portions are generous. All three dishes I tried were delicious and the prices were pleasantly surprising.

I hope they stick around.

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