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Peruvian food comes to East Colfax by way of Pisco Sour

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You never know what you might find cruising down East Colfax, but along with hookers, drug dealers and their desperate, drugged out disciples, you can usually count on new restaurant signage. Pisco Sour, a new Peruvian restaurant, bar and club at 8501 East Colfax Avenue, opened in June to good word of mouth, which isn't surprising since the joint is owned by Renato Castillo, whose aunt, Francesca Ruiz, owns and operates Los Cabos II, the iconic Peruvian restaurant at 1525 Champa Street.

"There's a lot of family influence in this restaurant," says Castillo, who was born in Peru. "My mom is in the kitchen, cooking, and everyone else in the kitchen is family, too." Even Castillo's cousin, who hasn't even hit his teens, mans the front door. "It's important," he says, "to keep everything in the family, and this family is close and can cook."

The board is a mix of coastal seafood dishes, sopas, rotisserie chicken, plantains and yuca and Peruvian specialties, like arroz con polo, lomo saltado and frejol con seco, a lamb stew with Peruvian beans. According to Castillo, more than half of the dishes were culled from the Los Cobos menu, while the remaining plates are his mother's recipes. And so far, the crowds are coming in droves. "A lot of people haven't tried Peruvian food, so we're getting a lot of curiosity seekers from the neighborhood coming in, along with a great South American clientele," says Castillo.

Not surprisingly, the restaurant's signature, namesake cocktail, is also luring the thirsty. "Our pisco sour is the real thing," promises Castillo. "We're serving mango and passion fruit pisco sours, too, all made with fresh juices." And that's not all: There's live salsa bands (and free salsa lessons) every Friday night, DJs on Thursday and Saturday nights and live Peruvian bands and dance lessons every Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m.

To find out more, dial 303-322-7777.

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