Paiche chef Jose Luis de Cossio honed his skills as the Executive Chef of Gaston Acurio’s “La Mar” Restaurant in Lima, Peru. He and partner Casimira offer elevated Peruvian dishes on Corbett in SW Portland. Their restaurant is notable for being open for lunch Wednesday through Friday noon – 4 pm and then for dinner on Saturday 3 pm – 8:30 pm.
This schedule allows them to have time for their family, and leaves diners eager to catch a seat in their tiny spot nestled below Pill Hill. Chris Angelus brought 20 diners together to fill up the dining room for a Portland Food Adventures Peruvian feast.
You’ll have to keep your eyes open for their sign, so it’s best to navigate with the street address, 4237 SW Corbett Ave. Portland, OR 97239. Inside there are tables and counter/window counter seating.
I was not familiar with Peruvian food and on my first stop enjoyed the Pastel de Choclo – Peruvian corn pudding with mushrooms, olives, carrots, peas and cacao nib crumble. I wanted to come back to enjoy more.
Our 8-course meal began with a snack of toasted corn kernals and then the flavorful empanada de papa seca with aji amarillo spread.
Next, Tiradito de Pescado – California halibut with aji habanero leche de tigre. The offerings were all either fish or vegetarian, as Lima is an area with abundant seafood.
Now for Potato Causa – colorful potatoes with sauces and seasonal vegetables.
The regular menu offers three cebiches – mixed, pescado blanco and vegan. We enjoyed the Cebiche Mixto with mixed seafood, aji rocato leche de tigre, purple sweet potato, onion, corn and cilantro.
The crab croquette, Croquetta de Cangrejo, included red quinoa, octopus and nectarines salsa criolia.
The Chupe de Camarones included bay shrimp with shrimp jus, trigo, peanuts, shallots and berries.
The final savory course was Sudado de Pescado – avocado and seaweek leche de tigre, corn cider poached fish, rocoto pepper, yuca rot, tomato and seafood salad.
We were quite full from the savory courses, but the dessert was worth saving room for. The alfajor cookie had house caramel with fruit.
The meal left us very much filled and tantalized to return to explore more.