In June of this year, La Leña opened its doors offering foodies of all ages an opportunity to enjoy an elevated dining experience. This family-owned Peruvian restaurant proves that pizzerias and burger joints aren’t the only options for young, picky palates. With a menu packed with comfort foods like rotisserie chicken, yucca fries and empanadas, there is something to satisfy every appetite in your crew. Dress up or dress down, this new eatery has the atmosphere and bites your family needs to feel at home while having a meal out. Read on to find out more.

photo: via La Leña

The Restaurant

La Leña is conveniently located at 1864 SE Hawthorne. Street parking is plentiful, even throughout the busy evening hours. The establishment seats up to 46 customers at a time, and is well lit with natural light that filters through large windows that run along the street-side of the building. There is plenty of window seating with booths that are perfect for families with young, wiggly children, and table seating in the center of the restaurant allows room for larger families and parties or gatherings.

The restaurant’s décor creates a picturesque setting with prints of photos lining the far wall, beautiful turquoise and blue mosaic tile work, and brick red and dark blue accents throughout the space. And while the environment is beautiful, it is simultaneously comfortable and homey so mom and dad don’t have to stress when the little ones get up to run.

photo: via La Leña

Eats

If you aren’t familiar with Peruvian cuisine, you might worry that the young diners in your clan will snub their nose at the food choices, but owners Angeline Perla and Adam Warren created a menu that is both familiar and unique. Passionate about bringing the comida criolla from Angeline’s native Peru to Portland, this husband and wife team managed to make their offerings approachable to customers of all ages and interests.

Every family member is sure to enjoy their mouthwatering rotisserie chicken, which is available in whole, half, and even quarter-sized portions and comes with a choice of fries, salad or rice and beans. The Lomo Saltado, is perfect for that steak-lover in the family as this dish consists of hanger steak stir fried with tomatoes, onion, aji Amarillo and fries!

If your kids aren’t yet familiar with empanada’s, now is the time to introduce them to this delectable Peruvian dish. The small savory pies are different from most in that they are baked in a flakey piecrust and dusted with powdered sugar. Sweet and savory? You bet. One will not do, so take our advice and order up a few.

photo: by Annette Benedetti

Dessert

A meal isn’t a full meal until you’ve had desert. Don’t skip the sweets at this eatery. Try their Alfjores, an ice cream sandwich made with cookies and dusted with powdered sugar. The Mazamorra Morada, is purple corn pudding that will make even the smallest mouths smile. Don’t forget to ask about the specials, we hear they offer incredible pies on occasion.

Drinks

La Leña has a full bar with cocktail offerings that make you feel like you are on vacation. We Highly suggest the Pisco Sour. They also have both draft and bottled beer as well as wine by the glass for the adults in the group.

There are plenty of drink options for those in the group who are either under age or prefer to skip the booze. Try the Chicha Morada—a spiced purple corn drink sweetened with fruit. Or, keep it simple with a Limonada—fresh squeezed lemon and lime-ade. Coffee and tea are available as well.

photo: by Annette Benedetti

Feel Good

While this restaurant’s tasty food choices are sure to please your crew, knowing that they use locally–sourced and sustainably–farmed products along side authentic imported ingredients is sure to make mom and dad feel even better.

La Leña is the perfect place for a family meal out. The owners have worked hard to create an authentic, family-centric Peruvian dining experience—and they’ve succeeded! Their restaurant invites the Portland community to experience delicious cuisine in a an environment that embodies and celebrates the traditions and connections responsible for creating the dishes you find on their menu today.

Details


La Leña
1864 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, Or.

Hours: Closed Mon. Tues.-Thurs., 12-10p.m.; Fri. 12-10:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 4:30-10:30 p.m.
Online: lalenapdx.com

Do you have a favorite family restaurant? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti