A resort hotel with a view of the water can be transporting, sure. But let’s face it, an adventurous soul can find transport in a lot of places. Even, yes, in a strip mall off Rockville Pike. Spend a couple of hours in the company of Emma Perez’s colorful and carefully prepared Peruvian food and see if your senses aren’t restored.
The kitchen here manages to avoid heaviness even in its heartiest preparations of lamb and beef. The lamb shank is excellent; ditto the lomo saltado. But the emphasis is on the piscatory, and not to get at least one of the various preparations—whether nearly raw, as in the gorgeous treatments of tiradito, or fried, such as a crispy whole trout—is like going to hear Tony Bennett and then walking out on the ballads.
- Papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a cheese-and-yellow-pepper sauce)
- Aji gallina, a shredded-chicken stew with garlic and olives
- Alfajores (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche)