The general manager of Flor de Luna may be a newcomer to the restaurant business, but the chef helming the kitchen at the new North Bethesda eatery has been cooking Mexican, Peruvian and El Salvadorian dishes for the past 24 years.
Chef Ana Osorio said she is serving many of her signature dishes at the restaurant such as lomo saltado, which is beef sautéed with onion and tomatoes; el macho, a dish of mussels with a lime sauce and fresh pico de gallo; and tres leches, or milk cake.
Other menu items include tortilla soup, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, grilled shrimp and carne asada served with rice, beans, guacamole and salsa.
The restaurant, which opened earlier this month, fills the former Blue Star kosher restaurant space at 11417 Woodglen Drive near the Whole Foods supermarket.
Juan Acevedo, a former Univision cameraman and producer, is the general manager of the new restaurant. He said it’s been his family’s dream to open a restaurant and he took a career detour from the television business to launch Flor de Luna with his mother and their partner, Jorge Goicochea.
Goicochea is a former partner at La Fogota Restaurant, a Peruvian concept on Bel Pre Road in Silver Spring, where Osorio cooked before taking over the kitchen at Flor de Luna.
The restaurant currently fits about 75 people in a dining room and bar, but Acevedo said plans include occupying a neighboring space still under construction that will serve mostly as a private event room.
The dining room inside Flor de Luna
Drink offerings include Mexican beers such as Corona, Modelo and Dos Equis, as well as popular South American cocktails such as margaritas, caipirinhas and pina coladas. The bar offers a happy from 3 to 7 p.m. with cocktails for $5 and beer starting at $1.50 per glass.
Acevedo described the restaurant’s menu as authentic Latin American cuisine and said he hopes the restaurant can serve as a gathering place for the local community. He said plans include adding live music and other special events in the future.