Tag Archives: peru

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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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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Mario’s Peruvian Restaurant

Who knew Peruvian food was so obscene? And I mean OBSCENELY GOOD!

My Favorite Bite? The Lomo Saldato: Tender beef, tomatoes, red onions… sauteed with french fries. This is NOT a place for carb counters because the dishes come with a side of rice! Yes, that’s right… TWO starches! Wicked good.

Lomo Saltado at Mario's Peruvian

Address: Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood
5786 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California 90038
cross street of rossmore (where it turns into vine)

Tel: (323) 466-4181

Dining Date: 6.12.08

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