Trying out Cusco's Nikkei restaurant, LIMO
On this trip, we skipped visiting Lima because the Zika-virus advisory was still in effect. Instead, we spent the whole week in the Sacred Valley and then a day in Bogotá - all at altitudes above 2,000m where the CDC says Zika-carrying mosquitos don't live -, from where we caught flights back home.
It was a bit sad to skip Lima because I'd heard such great things about the food scene there from the chifas serving Chinese food to the nikkei restaurants with their Japanese-Peruvian fusion. So I was excited that Cusco had a highly rated restaurant called LIMO that served up nikkei cuisine, and made reservations for our first night in Cusco.
The food menu, and beverage menu, were both quite extensive, and we spent a good amount of time deciding what to order. For drinks, we ended up with a couple cucumber ones, one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic, a coconut cocktail, and my passion fruit pisco sour. I figured if I was going to try a pisco sour, might as well be in Peru!
To start, the waiter brought out a plate of little plantain cylinders as an amuse bouche.
We ordered LIMO's version of a causa limeña, which I usually see as kind of a cylindrical terrine. But this one was served warm, with a bed of mashed potatoes topped with miso marinated fish.
Then we had the ceviche LIMO - absolutely delicious! I like anything with an acidic twist, so it's not surprising that I like all kinds of ceviche. This had some cubes of kabocha along with the big kernels of corn.
Then we had the crunchy shrimp roll, with avocado, with leche de tigre - the liquid of ceviche - drizzled on top. This was just okay; the crispy shrimp was rather soggy by the time it got to the table.
One of the best dishes of the night was this grilled trout with local herbs. The trout is the main fish that's found in the Cusco region, so when there's fish on the menu, it's usually this trout. It was tender and fresh, with a crispy skin. Wasabi mashed potatoes came as a side.
Our last dish was an arroz con mariscos, seafood rice, which the waiter described as being similar to a paella and a Peruvian specialty. Well, it's really not like a paella, but was still tasty, if not reaching the levels of the trout or ceviche.
I had been enjoying my meal until about this point, sipping my pisco sour and water all along, and suddenly I felt like I fell off a cliff. I felt incredibly nauseous, and had trouble keeping my eyes open. I broke out in a sweat, and when I could open my eyes a bit, I could only see a red-tinged environment. I thought about how I could possibly make it back to the hotel on my own two feet, and felt like I needed to lie down before attempting the walk back. There were points when I felt like I fell asleep, but eventually, I regained full consciousness again.
Man! I think it was a combination of alcohol and altitude - we were at 3400 m./11,150 ft., because I've never had such a reaction before in my life! I did some research later and found some articles discounting a connection between alcohol and altitude, but I can truly say that I got so drunk almost to the point of passing out, just from the effects of my one drink. For me, altitude and alcohol don't mix!