Categories: Opinion

“Seeing a queue in my restaurant makes me feel number 1”

“Seeing a queue in my restaurant makes me feel number 1”

Now, on Av. El Polo you can also find isoline. The differences with respect to the Barranquino restaurant are minimal (small aesthetic details) since the essentials are maintained: the same spirit, the same generous portions and the good flavor that accompanies each dish and cocktail. “We don’t want it to be Isolina 2, it’s not the branch. We don’t want to call it anything, it’s just Isolina”, says the chef.

With this concept, opened in 2015, he pays homage to both his mother and the taverns of yesteryear. In that time, the restaurant has positioned itself in the gastronomic rankings, being considered in the complete list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America.

Despite the pride in the recognition of his work and his team, the awards do not take away Del Castillo’s sleep: “it is no longer my priority.” He focuses on doing well as a business to sustain himself and the group behind him. “I wouldn’t spend my time pretending to be number 4, 5 or 6. In the end, seeing a queue at my restaurant makes me feel like number 1”, she points out.


Upon arriving at a new kitchen, ideas arose and the desire to create new dishes. Thus, in addition to the popular papa rellena, cebiche and lomo saltado, other traditional dishes prepared in their own style are added to the menu, such as the causa de pejerrey, the juicy duck cebiche and ribs (the cook liked this cut of long bone, Flintstone style , which people turn to look at) with malaya dressing, golden potatoes and pickled onions. José anxiously awaits the arrival of winter to bring to the table soups and chupes and (we hope very soon) picarones.

“This is a kitchen of memories”, holds. His greatest satisfaction is that the diner is moved by a dish when remembering something, a loved one or a moment. A faithful defender of tradition, he continues to investigate Creole cuisine and those recipes (hidden in front of the more commercial ones) that sound alien among the youngest, such as migas or mondongo soup.

“It seems important to me that traditions endure and educate the young generations about what it means, even more so for the people of Lima,” comments José del Castillo. “My job as a cook is to teach people to taste those things. [recetas tradicionales y no tan populares]”he adds, and Isolina is the space to continue adding value to these recipes.


The new house (for 150 diners) had to have the same look as the ravine, so they turned to the same architect. They knew that it could not be a copy paste -not even think about making false balconies- but they wanted the same good atmosphere to be felt.

They succeeded in addition to including some surprises. They will soon open the second floor -with a terrace, a second bar and an additional private room- that will function at night as a space for social gatherings and meetings. On weekends here the revelry will be assembled to enjoy live music, some refreshing drinks and the usual generous food. We are in home.


Address: Av. El Polo 605, Groove.

Phone: 943 833 031.

Source: Elcomercio