Best South American Restaurant
El Chalan Restaurant
This delightful home-style, no-frills El Sobrante restaurant prepares authentic Peruvian stews and soups — including the best chupe de camarones East Bayers will ever slurp from a spoon — in friendly pink-and-maroon accented surroundings. On a once-busy stretch of San Pablo Dam Road that's now eerily empty, El Chalan attracts a decidedly local and loyal clientele after six years of plating up the likes of papa a la huancaina, bistek encebollado, loma saltado, and aguadito de mariscos. The menu is a puzzling mix of Peruvian and Italian dishes, but there's nothing off-putting about the South American delicacies that wind their way to the tables. The shrimp chowder contains a literal school of shrimp, crunchy peas, a munchable ear of corn on the cob, and chunks of soft potatoes, that Peruvian staple, all swimming in a flavorful, well-spiced broth made rich and creamy with silky cheese and eggs. Add a dollop of the to-die-for hot sauce and transport your taste buds to the Andes.