Tag Archives: Mo Chica

The NEW Mo-chica!

Mo Chica on 7thRicardo 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
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
Choritos a la Chalaca: Grilled chopped mussels, prawns, squid, tomato choclo salsa.

Carapulcra (Pork Belly!)
Carapulcra: Peruvian sun dried potato stew, crispy pork belly, chimichurri.

Estofado de Alpaca
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.)

Haburgesa at Mo Chica
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!)

Mo Chica on 7th
The new Mo-chica has a full bar.

Cocktails at Mo Chica
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.

Kabocha Pumpkin Beignets w Chancaca Sauce
Dessert: Kabocha Pumpkin Beignets w Chancaca Sauce (sweet sauce made of raw unrefined sugar crystallized with honey).

The MAN! Chef Ricardo ZarateAbout 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

Mo-chica on 7thMo-chica website
514 W. 7th Street (@ Grand)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213. 622.3744

Dining Date: 5/27/12 Friends & Family Dinner (gratis).

Many thanks and CONGRATS to Ricardo, Stephane, Jorge, Team Mo-chica, Shawna & all!

Hours
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Valet parking available after 7 p.m.
Sun.-Sat. 11:30a-3:30p (lunch)
5:30-11p (dinner)

Follow Chef Ricardo Zarate on Twitter

Follow Mo-Chica on Twitter

Mo-chica on FaceBook

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

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Picca Peru

Food Wine: Best New Chef 2011, my friend RicardoZarateLast month (July 2011) Food & Wine Magazine named Chef Ricardo Zarate as one of their Best New Chefs for 2011. His elevated Peruvian cooking has been a favorite of mine since I first tasted his Mo Chica menu at a “Hatchi” pop-up dinner last year (links & video below).

For “Culinarian’s Day”, the Huffington Post recently asked me to name some of my favorite chefs and of course I included Ricardo. I’m so proud to call him a friend, and with all the recent accolades he’s garnered, I’m pretty darn lucky that I can still get a reservation!

Picca Peru

Entrance to Picca Peru
Entrance (above the former Test Kitchen space)

Picca's Filet w Sea Urchin Butter
Anticuchos (grilled, skewered street food): Beef Filet w Sea Urchin Butter, Garlic Chip

Picca's Beef Heart
Anticuchos: Corazon aka Beef Heart, Rocoto (spicy pepper) Sauce

Picca's PaPa a Lahuancaina
Anticuchos: Papa a La Huancaina: Potato, Quail Egg, Pancetta, Chives

Picca's Cocktails
COCKTAILS! Left: “The Avocado Project” 5 Island white rum, fresh avocado, ascorbic acid, fresh lime juice, agave nectar.
Right: “Chilcano de Anis” Lime Juice, Ginger Syrup, Anise Syrup, Pisco

Picca's Tomatoes & Burrata w Black Mint Pesto
Tomatoes & Burrata w Black Mint Pesto

Picca's Ceviche Crocante
Ceviche Crocante: Halibut, Leche de tigre, Crispy Calamari

Picca's Choritos Mussels
Choritos Mussels: Steamed Mussels, Pancetta, Aji Amarillo Butter

Picca's Chicharron De Costilas
Chicharron De Costilas: Crispy Pork Ribs Crostini, Sweet Potato Puree, Feta Cheese Sauce, Salsa Criolla

Picca's Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare: Tuna, Lemon Soy Dressing, Wonton Chips

Picca's Ceviche Mixto
Ceviche Mixto: Mixed Seafood, Sweet Potato, Choclo (a large grain corn)

Picca's Black Cod
Black Cod: Miso Anticucho, Crispy Sweet Potato

Picca's Duck Confit
Seco de Pato: Duck Leg Confit, Black Beer Sauce, Cilantro Rice

Ricardo Zarate's Patita (Pig Trotter Stew) at Picca
Patita: pig trotter stew, chorizo, potato, aji panca, peanuts

Causa: Snow Crab
Causa: snow crab.cucumber, avocado, huancaina sauce

Picca's 32Oz Rib Eye Steak
32 oz Rib Eye Steak

Oxtail Croquette Sliders at Picca
Oxtail Croquette Sliders w avocado & pickled jalapeno, huacatay

Picca's Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches Cake

Picca's Grill
Checking out the kitchen

Picca, View From Bar
Picca, View From Bar

Rocoto Mezcal at Picca
Rocoto Mezcal

Photos taken 6/21/11 (Opening Night)  7/28/11 & 9/23/11

Chef Ricardo ZarateAll my Picca Peru Photos

Huffington Post “Culinarian’s Day”

About Ricardo> Terrific article about Ricardo Zarate by my friend Julie Wolfson

Picca Peru Restaurant
9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0133
Website

FOOD & WINE Best New Chef Ricardo Zarate VIDEO

with Stephane Bombet & Chef Ricardo ZarateFood & Wine Best New Chefs 2011

Ricardo Zarate on LXTV VIDEO

Sophie Gayot of GAYOT.com at Mo Chica VIDEO

Chef Ricardo Zarate at Test Kitchen VIDEO

Follow Chef Ricardo Zarate on Twitter

Follow Picca Peru Restaurant on Twitter

Follow Stephane Bombet, Picca’s Managing Partner on Twitter

Follow Mo Chica on Twitter

Follow writer Julie Wolfson on Twitter

Mo Chica at Hatchi (pop up)

Dinner at Mo Chica

All Ricardo Zarate Photos

Photos at right: With Ricardo and Picca’s managing partner (and my good friend) Stephane Bombet

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Mo Chica – 6 Courses for Japan

Chef Ricardo Zarate (Food & Wine “People’s Best New Chef”) is originally from Peru, but I’m certain that part of his soul (like mine) belongs to Japan. For years he worked in Japanese restaurants (including Zuma in London) before opening Mo Chica, his contemporary Peruvian restaurant here in Los Angeles.

Ceviche Mixto by Chef Ricardo ZarateI first tasted Zarate’s food at a BreadBar Hatchi dinner last year, and loved the simple beauty of his compositions, as well as the Asian touches he added to his Peruvian cuisine.

Before meeting the chef, I think the only Peruvian food I had tried (besides ceviche) was a post-hangover dish called Lomo Saltado. If you haven’t tried Lomo Saltado, it’s an awesome pile of seasoned beef, tomatoes and onions served with BOTH rice AND french fries.

Ricardo Zarate and I didn’t actually become friends until he and his partners opened Test Kitchen last summer. I LOVED those frenetic months (new chefs & menus every few days) and if my waistline and bank account would’ve allowed it, I’d have dined at Test Kitchen every night. In fact I have so many photos from my visits that I’ve yet to properly blog about it!

Chef Ricardo Zarate @ HatchiRicardo Cooks For Japan

This Thursday (March 31st), Chef Zarate and partner Stephane Bombet will hold a charity dinner for the victims of Japan. I’ll be there supporting my friends, not only because I was born in Japan (I lived in Okinawa until I was eight), but because Zarate’s tasting dinners are always fantastic. Simply put: Great food + Great cause = a grateful heart and belly.

GrubStreetLA wrote:
Zarate will revisit one of his favorite tasting menus at a cost of $45 per diner. With a long history of working in Japanese restaurants, Zarate will donate $10 from every reservation to the country’s relief efforts. As an extra thrill for the town’s food-obsessed, Street Gourmet L.A. blogger and pro saxman Bill Esparza will provide the musical accompaniment with his bossa nova trio Cachaca Nova.

Mo-Chica’s 18th Tasting Dinner
6 Courses for Japan

Thursday, March 31, 2011
6:00-10:00 P.M.
$45
3655 S. Grand Ave. (inside Mercado La Paloma)
(213) 747-2141 (reservations will sell out!)

6 Course Menu

YUQUITAS CON POLLO
stuffed yuccas, manchego cheese, crispy chicken, rocoto sauce

TIRADITO
scallops strips, spicy lemon dressing, salsa criolla

CHILCANO
Peruvian cocktail, ginger juice, ginger ale, pisco brandy

SUDADO
sea bass, tomato stew , crab meat, roasted tomatoes, garbanzos

CHICHARRON
Peruvian-style crispy pork belly, black mint sauce

ALFAJOR
Classic Peruvian dessert made of dulce de leche , and short bread

PHOTOS below: In case you’ve never had the pleasure of eating Zarate’s food, here are some of my favorite bites (these are different from Thursdays menu):

Mo Chica
Arroz Chaufa De Mariscos: Seafood Fried Rice, Mixed seafood, Daikon Pickle

Mo Chica
Causa: Potato Salad, Tiger Prawns, Ocopa Sauce

Mo Chica
Tiradito: Japanese Octopus Carpaccio, Peruvian Botija Olive Sauce

Chef Ricardo Zarate @ Hatchi
Carapulcra: Peruvian Sun Dried Potatoes, Pancetta, Black Cod, Chimichurri

Mo Chica
Mate De Coca Ice Cream: Coca IceCream Cinnamon Sponge Cake

Note: Photos above are from my various Mo Chica / Ricardo Zarate dinners. These are NOT on the 3/31 tasting menu. Just samples of his beautiful food.

Mo Chica Website
3655 South Grand Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 747-2141

Follow Chef Ricardo Zarate on Twitter

Ricardo Zarate’s Bio (Test Kitchen)

Food & Wine “People’s Best New Chef” (LA Weekly)

With my big sister Janet, MyLastBite.comBreadbar Hatchi

Zarate at Test Kitchen (by Kevin Eats)

Lomo Saltado at Mario’s Peruvian

More Mo Chica photos on flickr

Zuma, London

GrubStreet LA

Street Gourmet L.A

About my early years in Okinawa, Japan

RED CROSS (text donation to help)

Red Cross relief in Japan is more than food and blankets

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BREADBAR’s Hatchi Series: 8 for $8

What is Hatchi?

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.comA little background (by LA Weekly):
“The Hatchi series, a collaboration between Breadbar and chef Noriyuki Sugie, began this past June and showcases a guest chef the last Thursday of each month. The series menu features 8 small plate courses at $8 a dish–“hatchi” means 8 in Japanese–and guests order a minimum of three dishes. The chefs, who are picked for their rising-star talent, are given a budget and must stick within it; Sugie is on hand to mentor, watch, and (one hopes) taste a few dishes. The previous chefs to run the floor were Debbie Lee (The Next Food Network Star, now at Gyenari), Michael Voltaggio (now chef de cuisine at The Langham) and Santa Barbara-based private chef Roberto Cortez.”

I love these “guest chef” dinners, and do my best to attend each one. So far I’ve been to three (links below), and highly recommend it! It’s just a really comfortable and inexpensive way to try out a chef’s new menu.

Michael Voltaggio at Hatchi
Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Robert Cortez at Hatchi
Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Remi Lauvand at Hatchi
Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Waylynn Lucas at Hatchi
Waylynn at Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi
Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite

Upcoming Events: 1/28/10 Ricardo Zarate
Chef at Mo Chica
Hatchi Theme: Peru Much Gusto

voltaggio top chef

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 277 3770
WebSite (check for upcoming Hatchi dinners)

Follow BreadBar on Twitter @BreadBar_LA

Mentioned above:

LA Weekly

Chef Noriyuki Sugie

BreadBar

Chef Voltaggio – Dining Room at the Langham

Chef Lauvand – Cafe Pierre

Chef Roberto Cortez

Chef Debbie Lee – Gyenari

voltaggio married wife girlfriend michael voltaggio’s top chef

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