WHY Innovative creations from Ricardo Zarate, Food & Wine’s best New Los Angeles chef, 2011.
WHAT The new descendant of Zarate’s ultra-modest Mo-Chica is a trend-setting cantina whose robata bar items look Japanese but taste Peruvian (skewered grilled scallops painted with aji amarillo pepper) and whose ceviche bar garnishes flash-marinated fish and sashimi-like tiradito with rocoto chile, choclo and other Peruvian ingredients. Small plates also show off his flair for layering culinary cultures in unimagined ways, as well as his sushi-chef experience earned at such high-end spots as Zuma in London. Seasonal craft cocktails based on Peruvian pisco and other Latin ingredients complement the fare. It’s a leap forward for Latin American cuisine.
WHO Enraptured food lovers who are thrilled to find Zarate in a real restaurant.