When you're walking up 18th Street NW, you could join the masses waiting for some machine-made margaritas and Tex-Mex food at Lauriol Plaza, or you could duck into a cute Peruvian restaurant next door and enjoy a relaxed and delicious meal on their patio out back.
I was lucky to go one time with a Peruvian friend who pointed out some of the more interesting dishes to try. I enjoyed the anticuchos de corazon, beef heart skewer, ($9.95) and highly recommend them to meat eaters. I would skip the 1/2 chicken with side ($10.95), it's not nearly as juicy and flavorful as El Pollo Rico in Arlington, VA. I have the best time when I order a few appetizers and a Pisco Sour or two.
Fresh and bright flavors from the lime juice, excellent shrimp.
Fried yuca stuffed with beef, hard-boiled egg and olives, served with a huancaina sauce.
Pisco sours are light, frothy and nice to drink with the meal, but be forewarned that they take quite a lot longer to make than to consume.
3/31/11 Update: Inti has unfortunately gone out of business. Truly a shame.