I have not had a taste of Peru since returning from my 15 week summer research project. Sharing a meal at Piqueo's brought back a wave of nostalgia, and with eat bite I reflected back on my summer where eating Peruvian cuisine was normal and habitual. While this contemporary California take on Peruvian cuisine does not mirror the food I ate in Peru, I rejoiced in the flavors extrapolated from Peruvian culinary traditions.
The seafood dishes here are stellar. My favorite seafood dish was the pan seared scallops on a bed of creamy, blue mashed potatoes. Peru is known for its hundreds of potato varietals, but most restaurants in Peru serve the starchier and most popular yellow potato (papa amarilla). I applaud Piqueo's chef for using a less commonly eaten (and tastier!) potato varietal.
The sweet dishes here are also not to be missed and should not be limited to the dessert menu. Humitas, which are offered on the appetizer menu, are sweet corn-like tamales that are commonly found in Cajamarca, a beautiful old Spanish colonial-style town in the Andean mountains. Piqueo's humitas do not come served in a traditional corn husk, but instead on a plate and smothered in a yellow mole sauce with a fried shrimp on top. It is a perfect blend of sweet and creamy deliciousness.