I’ve written before about the proliferation of ethnic cuisine in Sonoma County in the last few years: Ethiopian, Thai, Korean – the list goes on and on. It was with delight that I recently learned Santa Rosa can now add Peruvian to that list. Located in Santa Rosa’s Roseland district, Sazon is in an unassuming building on Sebastopol Road. You could easily miss it, were it not for the crowd inside.
Sazon’s interior is small, with only a few tables and a short bar to accommodate hungry diners, and when I arrived with my family on a weekend night, it took over half an hour to be seated. The staff was accommodating and attentive, bringing us drinks as we waited.
Instead of the usual complimentary bread and butter, Sazon brings diners a plate of canchitas, or fried Peruvian corn, to nibble on. These were addictive: salty and crunchy; like corn nuts, only more refined.
I’m a sucker for plantains, so I couldn’t resist ordering a plate of fried plantains with sour cream as an appetizer. The sweet, buttery plantains were plated on top of pickled red onions, which helped offset the richness of an otherwise heavy dish.
I know I need to branch out, but nine times out of ten, I can’t help but order lomo saltado when I dine at a Peruvian restaurant. I can’t help it: sirloin marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, tangy spices, and served over rice and French fries. What’s not to love? My only complaint was that my lomo was on the dry side, with little sauce to sop up my fries with.
Sazon is a welcome addition to Sonoma County’s changing restaurant scene. I’m welcoming the ethnic food trend with open arms, and couldn’t be happier that Santa Rosa now has a Peruvian restaurant to sate my lomo saltado and plantain cravings.