Physical Therapy By A Lima Anatomist

“I don’t mind if I scream out in pain as long as I feel better the next day.” Does that sound like a good recommendation for a massage therapist?

If you’ve read my bio page, then you know that one of the things I “collect” like stamps — are massage, physical therapy, experiences. So, when I heard about this “don’t mind if I scream” therapist, I took the endorsement and whatsapped her during dinner! After all, my physical therapist, Kharla, left me, so I’ve been trying out different therapists. I’ve tried Thalia, Silvana, Luz, and others whose names I can’t recall. I’ve been having Luz do my massages but she puts skid marks on my walls to gain traction enough to dig deep into my corpus. Something keeps me from scheduling her on a regular basis.

After a few weeks with no physical therapy, my neck and shoulders start to make me walk like I’m carrying a sack of coal. So, tonight was the night to try the “no pain, no gain” therapist. Gisell arrived a few minutes after the appointed time. She is cuddly-looking woman with a sweet face. I asked her about the price for an hour massage. 120 soles for the “strong” and 100 for the “light” massage. I went for the strong. After all, I haven’t actually met too many therapists who could actually hurt me, at least not for more than a few seconds (other than that sadist in Queens — a whole other story)…

But, sh^&$@^%#*%&@sus (pardon my F^&&!#), did I meet one who can put a hurtin’ on! I told her that my neck and shoulder hurt. She proceeded, for the next hour, to try to squeeze, push, extrude, shove, bump, pull, yank, and extract the flesh, AND the marrow, from between my bones and ligaments — through my vertebrae! As I was wide awake and following every thumb scoop, I learned a lesson in anatomy (I did have to stop her orbital massage as I wasn’t sure if she would change my vision). At one point, I would have giggled but I couldn’t.

Afterwards (no arm, hand, or feet massage), I asked her where she had learned her technique. It turns out that she also studied anatomy! She said that she had to do it deep to relieve the knots and pain in my shoulders…

If you want to try the p(g)ain, her information is:

Gisell (does not speak English): 966 291 877

100 soles for gentle one-hour (not sure if that’s possible)

120 soles for deep-DEEP one-hour

She doesn’t bring her own massage table as she normally does her work on a normal mattress and with a pillow as a bolster.

Next time, I’ll have her do a finger massage. That will be interesting research…

Water. Normally, I think all that “toxins leaking” is hogswoggle, but…

Statera Restaurant – Emerging From Central’s Shadow

I realize that I’ve been ignoring Statera restaurant. Or rather, that I haven’t been going there enough. Part of the problem, I think, has been that I forgot that they are open for lunch (their dinner service doesn’t start until 8 p.m. which is way past my bedtime.) But, their lunch is Tuesday-Sunday, 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. I think I’ll go more often for lunch. It’s located at Av. Mariscal La Mar 463, Miraflores. The place doesn’t look so big from outside so it’s easy to miss.

The reasons that I recommend Statera are:

It’s possible to eat there without planning for months out, as one has to do at Central.

The tasting menu is half the price and half the time.

The bartender is superbly skilled.

The owner, Andres, is a young chef who worked as Central’s Research and Development chef for two years. He also worked at Noma in Copenhagen. Plus, he speaks English and is personable (and he remembers the critique of his clients). He continually changes his menu, but has managed to keep menu items that worked well (like the pumpkin done in three ways — completely vegan — even though it tastes like fois gras).

While I send people to Statera if they can’t get in to Central, I think that Statera actually manages to embody the “nueva andina” cuisine better — combining both the beauty of presentation and imaginative use of local ingredients, while also providing food that is delicious and of normal portion size.

If for nothing else, go for the black aguaje butter and bread (see photo).

And before it becomes impossible to book a table.

Top Ten Restaurants in Lima

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The artichokes at Jeronimo.

Six months ago, I posted my top ten restaurants in Lima (that one was based mainly on the insider knowledge. Shout-out to her!), but as I’ve been going to other restaurants on my own, here is an updated list. It is still based on the following: good food, good service–every time, all the time. I’m highly allergic to places that are so famous that it’s impossible to get a reservation (or use a reservation system that puts me right off my dinner). My list is of places that serve Peruvian and “international standard” food (as in, everyone serves a green salad). So, to the list!

  1. El Pan de la Chola (in the “international standard” cafe/bakery category): Still at number one, despite being a “bakery and sandwich shop.” Consistently delicious. Good service. Every time. They now have salad, and they have wine and beer. Try it for nighttime and enjoy the completely hipster vibe.
  2. Cosmé (also in the “international standard” but they also serve ceviche and other Peruvian dishes, and at night!): Still the unknown place I take out-of-town visitors. Still love the red cabbage salad. Best “secret” place as they seem to do zero publicity. Open at 6 p.m.
  3. Jeronimo (In the “international standard” category and world class): Yes, they use an annoying reservation system, but, go right when they open up at lunch, or sit at the bar. This was the first restaurant opened by Moma Adrianzen, who has since brought Chinga Tu Taco and Frida to the Lima food scene. Jeronimo is a world-class restaurant of the caliber that you would find in London, San Francisco, New York, Melbourne, etc.
  4. BEST NEWCOMER: Mérito (Venezuelan chefs making fusion Venezuelan-Peruvian): Straight in at number four. They have only been open for six months (it’s been an active six months) and their menu is fairly small. Delicious food. Great service. Only one dish was not perfection. The longest yuca fries I’ve seen in a long time. Lots of pea shoots pepper almost all the dishes.
  5. La Preferida (a classic Peruvian-Italian bodega, with game!): It would probably be number one but it’s not open for dinner.
  6. La Mar (Gaston Acurio’s cevicheria): Only open for lunch, till 5 p.m.
  7. El Mercado (Rafael Osterling’s cevicheria): Only open for lunch. Go at 12:15 p.m. and wait in line. The shrimp mini burger is superb.
  8. La Picanteria (a cevicheria): Only open for lunch. Located in the “some day I’ll be the hip area of town” Surquillo, just two blocks behind the central market.
  9. Osso: (Also, “international standard”, and yes, as event though it’s a steakhouse, they have vegetarian options and not just salad.) The location in San Isidro is so large that you will most likely get a table, even at night.
  10. Osaka (a Peruvian-Japanese “Nikkei” place with a uber-hipster locale in San Isidro): The tuna with foie gras keeps Osaka on the list (although I wish they would turn on the light — the mood is clearly wasted on me).
  11. La Isolina (brought to you by the sons of La Red cevicheria): Serves old-fashion home recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  12. La Red (the cevicheria that started it all): The legend. Only open for lunch.
  13. Taller Razeto (Italian): This would be higher on the list but it is located out in La Punta and it’s a journey to get out there. Still, some of the best pasta and pizza in Greater Lima.
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Foot long yuca fries from Mérito served with a vibrant Andean herb sauce.

And yes, again, I’ve been to Central, Maido, Rafael, and Astrid y Gaston. If you want to try a up-and-comer a la Central, try Statera. It’s the newest offshoot of Noma/Central style food. Foam, baby, foam!

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The edges of the octopus was crunchy like potato chips.

I eat regularly at a few other places, but as the food is not Peruvian (even if they have adapted some of their dishes to accommodate the tastes of Peruvians), I’m not including them on my list. Yet.

  • Dhaasu (zero fusion here, but using local ingredients).
  • Viet
  • Dae Jang Geum
  • JingXian

I’ve also finally activated an Instagram account for M’s Adventures: madventures.me #madventuresdotme

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Lemon merengue pie at Jeronimo. Not just tasty, but also inspired.