Strolling down Hollywood Boulevard yesterday I stopped in front of Peruvian Seafood and read the list of specials offered from noon to 5 Monday through Friday. Among them was ceviche mixto for $7.

I walked in - there were no customers - and told the young man I would have the ceviche mixto with a glass of water. Then I took a seat outside on the sidewalk. After about 10 minutes he brought me the ceviche. It wasn't as good or as bountiful as the ceviche at El Tamarindo in Fort Lauderdale - in fact, the octopus was extremely chewy - but for $7 it was fine.

Finished, I asked for the check. It arrived in a black presentation holder (which seemed a little ambitious for such a modest establishment) and was for $17. The ceviche was listed as $13.95 with a $1 sales tax and a $2 gratuity included (a practice I associate with South Beach, not Hollywood). I asked the waiter about the surprising total, pointing to the sign with the specials.

"You didn't tell me you wanted the special," he said. "I gave you the regular ceviche."

It was then that I understood why he included the tip.

By Thomas Swick • Category: hometown, restaurants

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