Monday, May 20, 2019

A Peruvian-Italian Menu at Los Balcones Hollywood

Los Balcones has been revamping both their locations and each one is different. I recently reviewed the Mestizo cuisine at Los Balcones Studio City and now I checked out the Los Balcones in Hollywood. The Hollywood location has recruited Chef Michelangelo "Miguel" Aliaga to helm the kitchen.

Chef Aliaga hails from northern Peru but he started his cooking career in Florence, Italy. In LA, he's worked at various Italian restaurants including All'Angelo and Cecconi's. Now, at Los Balcones he's able to combine his two roots. Los Balcones' menu still has the classic Peruvian dishes you'd expect to see like lomo saltado and ceviche, but he's also melding Peruvian and Italian cuisines in others.

During my visit I mainly stuck to the Peruvian-Italian dishes so I can try what the chef is getting creative with, except for the beef heart anticucho I got for the appetizer. I just have to get beef heart anticucho when I see it.

Anticucho (grilled beef heart, panca pepper, potatoes, rocoto sauce, $16)
Los Balcones Hollywood
When they do it well like they do here and the beef hearts are tender, you can't go wrong.

Agnolotti de seco (homemade ravioli stuffed with lamb and cilantro sauce, finished with rocoto aioli, $20)
Los Balcones Hollywood
A classic pasta dish but with distinctly Peruvian flavors with the rocoto aioli. This is a great representation of how the two cuisines work together.

Tallarin saltado de hongos (quinoa spaghetti, assorted mushrooms, tomato, onion, chives, soy sauce, $25)
Los Balcones Hollywood
This is a nice vegan and gluten free option (which I'm sure they need to have in Hollywood). Yes, the quinoa spaghetti is gluten free. There is a subtle difference in texture and flavor but if I hadn't known it was quinoa spaghetti, I don't think I would've known.

Porchetta con carapulcra (sun dried potato stew, baked pork belly, $23)
Los Balcones Hollywood
I loved the crispy skin on this porchetta so much! Carapulcra is traditionally a pork with the sun-dried potato stew, so this take with the porchetta seems a natural one. It still retains the flavors but elevating the comfort food with the beautiful porchetta.

For dessert, they brought us a tasting platter with Picarones (Peruvian donuts made with squash and sweet potatoes), Lucuma ice cream, and rice pudding.
Los Balcones Hollywood
This was my first time having picarones and I loved it. The "donuts" were airy, the outer layer nice and crispy and the squash and sweet potato gives it a unique flavor. I would definitely have these again.

Los Balcones also has a pretty good cocktail menu. Of course, they have the classic Pisco Sour (as well as a passionfruit variation). I also tried the Tamarind and Smoke with mezcal, tamarind syrup, lime, Jarritos tamarind soda, and a sugar chile rim.
Los Balcones Hollywood

Los Balcones has been a mainstay for Peruvian food in LA and I love what they're doing now. By bringing in new talents and different influences, Los Balcones is reinventing itself and exploring Peruvian flavors beyond the traditional dishes (although I'm glad they kept some of those too). Although both locations keep the same name, they're also letting the chefs take ownership of each location's menu.

Los Balcones Hollywood
1360 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 871-9600
  Los Balcones Del Peru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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