There’s apparently not one but two Peruvian restaurants on the same downtown block of B Street in San Mateo, and we chose Las Americas to try out the cuisine a few nights ago. It was awesome! The restaurant was cute, though nothing super fancy, the menu was extensive, and the food was great!
In related news, this restaurant is the subject of my very first post on Examiner.com!! I signed up and was accepted to be this site’s San Mateo Restaurant Examiner. They didn’t have one for Hayward, surprise. Anyway, I’ll be writing up San Mateo restaurant reviews and news stories as much as possible, while still keeping up with B&C, whew!! My review on Examiner.com is shown below (I own the rights to my own articles, w00t!!), or click to see for yourself. Check out my bio and photo and subscribe to my page if you like it. Thanks for reading!
Las Americas Peruvian Restaurant is one of two Peruvian restaurants on the same block of South B Street in San Mateo, and one of over a dozen in the area stretching from San Francisco to Redwood City. Overall, the menu is large and interesting, the facility is welcoming though not fancy, and the food is excellent.
The menu at Las Americas is extensive and surprisingly diverse. Grilled chicken and beef feature often, but much of the menu is dominated by seafood—halibut is very common, and appetizers include mussels, calamari, and garlic prawns—while boiled potatoes and fried rice find their way as the sides for many items. All of the mains—which include a couple vegetable dishes, a handful of steak or chicken meals, and about a dozen halibut and other non-specified seafood plates—are around $12 per plate (give or take $1.50), with the most expensive dish, Arroz con Marisco: Peruvian seafood paella, topping out at $17.
Perhaps more important than the menu selection; the food is delicious. The Papa a la Huancaina appetizer (boiled potatoes in a spicy creamy cheese sauce) is a small yet heavenly plate of plain boiled potatoes which are quartered and slathered generously in a light cheesy sauce that has everyone else at the table begging to dip their food in it. The fried rice with chicken is akin to an Asian dish presenting crispy rice interspersed with chicken pieces and green onions, all topped with egg. The Pescado al Ajo, fried boneless halibut filet in garlic sauce with white rice on side, is a garlicky delight of tender fish and plain but satisfying rice.
There are even some traditional beverages offered that make any dining experience a fun one for those not accustomed to Peruvian cuisine—the Chicha Morada is made by boiling purple corn with cinnamon and fruit and is a unique addition to any meal. The Maracuya, or passion fruit juice, is sweet and tasty. Each meal also comes with a tiny ramekin of Peruvian corn which is crunchy and salty, and spicy green dipping sauce that can really light a good fire on the taste buds.
Las Americas is definitely a great place to start exploring Peruvian cuisine, and appears to also be a favorite of seasoned eaters—you’ll certainly hear snippets of fast Spanish being spoken at dinnertime. So while it’s not the most elegant place in town, the food is great, the atmosphere is plain but endearing, the service is adequate, and the price is right. This reviewer recommends it to anyone interested in sampling some excellent South American cuisine in San Mateo.