Central's sister restaurant serving more traditional Peruvian fare

Kjolle (pronounce "KO-yay" and is a flower that grows in the mountains) lives in the same building as Central and is helmed by the wife of Central's chef. No slouch in her own right, Pía León was named Latin America’s Best Female Chef just a couple of months after Kjolle opened in August 2018.

I was interested to discover the vision here - how it differed from Central and how it was the same. I asked our server that question specifically and got an unsatisfying answer about Pia having her own space and expression.

The restaurant is smaller and "friendlier" than Central. "Home"-ier. Where Central is a cultivated, fine dining experience, Kjolle is a more informal, comfortable space. The food followed. Many of the concepts and flavors were very similar to Central. If you can't get into Central, Kjolle will definitely give you a flavor of what Central is doing. 

They offer an a la carte menu as well as a (much shorter) tasting menu. The dishes here are larger and definitely more filling. Think rustic. Think stews. Think comfort. With many of the same ingredients and even techniques.

In general, Kjolle was excellent but not really a stand out. I don't know that that's a dig on them. I think they are TRYING to do that. Just a really solid meal with excellent service. They aren't trying to be flashy. They are trying to be really good. And that, they are.

Service was very comfortable and easy. A few dishes in, Teresa wasn't feeling well and decided to head back to the hotel, insisting that I stay for the rest of the meal. While she and I figured out what we were doing, the staff was concerned and available but kept distance. I explained I would put her an in Uber and return. When I returned, I insisted that I was happy to pay for whatever they felt appropriate for Teresa's partially enjoyed menu. The check arrived and there was no charge for her whatsoever. I would have been glad to pay, but their handling of the situation was perfect and exactly how it should have been done. We threw them an unintentional curveball and they handled it perfectly. Bravo.

If you are doing Central, I'm not sure you need to do Kjolle. Yes - it's different. But only in concept. Ingredients, techniques and flavor combinations are so similar. This husband and wife team are truly delivering some exceptional experiences from this one spot. They have a place in the mountains (called MIL) that delivers a far more immersive experience that others have raved about.

Whether you visit Central, Kjolle, MIL or all three, you are sure to love everything about it. They deliver at such a high level and you get the feeling that all cylinders are firing these days.

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