The Asian food corridor of Convoy Street gets a South American infusion with the arrival of Flama Llama, which replaces Chef Chin and is the third area restaurant for Frankin Chou-Chan, who opened dumpling spot Steamy Piggy in 2017 and launched Formoosa, a Taiwainese cafe, in Kearny Mesa last year.
Reflecting Chou-Chan’s Chinese heritage and his upbringing in Bolivia, the new restaurant revolves around chifa, a longstanding culinary tradition that combines elements of Chinese cookery with the ingredients and flavors of Peru and other neighboring countries.
Flama Llama’s menu features several foundational fusion dishes from the cuisine, including lomo saltado, a soy sauce-based stir-fry of beef with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and French fries, a rendition of fried rice called arroz chaufa, the chow mein-adjacent tallarin saltado, and the pesto proxy tallarin verde. Other items range from mojo pork tacos and Peruvian chicken soup to yucca fries, caramelized plantains, and Cuban specialties like ropa vieja and a classic Cubano sandwich.
The all-day restaurant’s bar offers beer, wine, and sake along with boozy slushies like a merlot-based sangria and a sake-spiked pina colada as well as cocktails such as a yuzu-infused mojito and a passion fruit margarita.
Flama Llama, 4433 Convoy Street. Open daily at 11 a.m.