Our adventures begins with the insistence and perseverance of my wife, for convincing me that in the United States, our daughters would have better opportunities and be able to experience “The American Dream” that everyone desires. This made us decide to sell all our belongings in Peru and embark on this new journey. In 1987, we arrived to Los Angeles eager to make a new life with our family, I came from working hard as a math professor at night and during the day managing our small family restaurant.
After many small side jobs, my wife and I started working at Café Rico, a Peruvian restaurant on Topanga Cyn., here we both worked making the delicious dishes which I learned to make from my uncle Fernando Choy, when I was younger. The food became very popular very fast. We began to become recognized among our clients for the typical Peruvian culinary we offered. A few years later I began working at a slightly bigger restaurant already named Fina Estampa which was located on Tampa in Northridge. Although it was a bigger location, it could only hold 10 tables therefore creating a daily line for our patrons to stand in. During the 1994 earthquake, the owners Carlos and Charo decide to move to Miami and sell us their business. With the support of many of our family members which we are forever grateful for, we managed to get the money we needed to take this business forward and so we began to manage our own restaurant. We quickly outgrew this location due to the great demand for the food. Therefore a client who worked as a real state agent, helped us in the search for what would eventually be the place where we spent 22 years of our business. Our new venture was located on the corner of Topanga Cyn and Nordhoff in Chatsworth. The facility accommodated 200 people. Here we managed to bring many well-known Peruvian singers, who filled the restaurant in a way never seen before here in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles.
As we all know years don’t go by in vain and after 22 years of tireless family work and triumphs, we decided it was time to sell the building. However, we didn’t want to give up yet, we wanted to continue to provide our loyal clients with the delicious food they have come to love over the years. Now with the help of our daughter, who maintains the tradition and the flavor, wedecided to move to a new location to continue conquering more hearts and share the Peruvian cuisine with the American public that is eager to know about our culture and our incomparable flavor.