Ricardo Zarate, one of my favorite chefs (Picca Peru) officially opens his new Mo-chica restaurant in downtown L.A. tomorrow, May 30th. Peter and I were invited to check out the new space and menu at a “friends and family” preview dinner, where we both tried ALPACA (photos below) for the first time!
The official grand opening includes a street artist, ribbon cutting and Peruvian dancers.
Schedule of Events at Mo-chica 5/30/12:
9AM: Local street artist Robert Vargas tags the windows
11AM: Official ribbon cutting with Ricardo, local artists, city officials (open to the public)
11:30a-3:30p Open for Lunch
5:00p Step-and-repeat photos (open to the public)
5:30-10:30p Open for Dinner
6PM: Dancers and musicians begin their night-long performances
Address is 514 W. 7th Street (@ Grand), Los Angeles, CA 90014
My photos from the preview dinner:
Ceviche Mixto: Halibut, prawns, scallops, squid, red onion, rocoto, leche de tigre, camote. (Zarate is a ceviche master. Our first dish in the new location HAD to be this.)
Choritos a la Chalaca: Grilled chopped mussels, prawns, squid, tomato choclo salsa.
Carapulcra: Peruvian sun dried potato stew, crispy pork belly, chimichurri.
Estofado de Alpaca: Alpaca stew, tagliatelle, aji amarillo sauce, fried organic fertile egg. (I thought for sure the alpaca would be strong and gamey, but it was exactly the opposite! Very light, reminded me of veal.)
Hamburgesa: Alpaca & lamb patty, pickled cucumbers, aji amarillo yogurt dressing. (I am NOT a fan of lamb, but I would order this burger again. As of this week, I AM a fan of alpaca!)
The new Mo-chica has a full bar.
Dogfather (front) aka Pisco Sour: Pisco, egg white, fresh lime & lemon juice, cane syrup sugar, angostura bitter. Papa Don’t Peach: Banks Rum, Fresh Peaches infused w Calvados, Peach Bitters, Simple Syrup, fresh lemon juice.
Dessert: Kabocha Pumpkin Beignets w Chancaca Sauce (sweet sauce made of raw unrefined sugar crystallized with honey).
About Mo-chica (via official press release)
Mo-chica is a vibrant, urban restaurant serving Chef Ricardo Zarate’s modern interpretations on traditional Peruvian comfort food.
Originally built in an unassuming food court in downtown Los Angeles, the restaurant’s humble setting proved a stark contrast for the innovative cuisine served. Chef Ricardo Zarate, a good-humored Lima native who trained at some of London’s most celebrated restaurants for 12 years, opened Mo-chica in the summer of 2009 as his first solo endeavor. The restaurant immediately received recognition from both local and national audiences, including Jonathan Gold and the head honchos at Food & Wine. After opening Picca in 2011 and fueled by the unprecedented momentum of the restaurants’ successes, Zarate resurfaced his dream for Mo-chica—one he wasn’t able to fully materialize with the original location due to limited resources. The chef found a larger space downtown on 7th and Grand that could embody his original vision; the open, industrial-esque restaurant features concrete floors, vibrant-hued walls tagged with graffiti (thanks to local artist Kozem), whimsical touches—including Peruvian figurines customized by some of the city’s culinary tastemakers such as Ludo Lefebvre, Nancy Silverton, and Evan Kleiman—and sneakers suspended from the ceiling.
All my photos of Chef Ricardo Zarate on Flickr
514 W. 7th Street (@ Grand)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining Date: 5/27/12 Friends & Family Dinner (gratis).
Many thanks and CONGRATS to Ricardo, Stephane, Jorge, Team Mo-chica, Shawna & all!
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Valet parking available after 7 p.m.
Sun.-Sat. 11:30a-3:30p (lunch)
Follow Chef Ricardo Zarate on Twitter
Follow Mo-Chica on Twitter
Mo-chica by Jonathan Gold, L.A. Weekly
Read “Ricardo Zarate Wants To Introduce You To Alpaca Meat” by Grub Street L.A.
Artist Robert Vargas
Also by Ricardo Zarate: Picca Restaurant
More about Alpaca Meat
One response to “The NEW Mo-chica!”
The mussels and pork belly looks so good, you made hungry early this morning