The Los Angeles restaurant world is always evolving, and at ever furious speeds. There’s a new restaurant every week, it seems, and while we can’t help but look up for a moment when something new comes around the corner, it’s important to remember the good ones that are worth going back to.
It’s always a great time to revisit Mo-Chica, the Downtown L.A. incarnation of which just turned 1 a month ago. And over the weekend, Peruvian Independence Day was the occasion to do just that. From the Deysi Alvarez’s glorious cocktails to Ricardo Zarate’s bold-flavored dishes featuring top-notch seafood framed by exotic ingredients like rocoto, choclo and quinoa, it was a welcome reminder that despite all that, this is an accessible, delicious destination without the fuss near the Historic Core.
If you’ve been, you are probably already familiar with the seared Seabass Tiradito (my guest licked up all the Aji amarillo leche de tigre left on the plate) and the ceviche (we had the Mixto). I’m also loving the simply Grilled Artichoke, dressed with huacatay butter with a side of rocoto aioli. But what you probably didn’t know is that the latest, not-to-miss dish is ironically the Amazonian fish Ricardo and his partner, Stephane Bombet, named their latest restaurant venture in Marina del Rey after – Paiche. Cooked over a grill for that just-charred flavor, the filet sits on top of a bright canvas of ajiaco rice steeped in a tomato escabeche.
Of course, you’ll want to wash down all this vibrant food with some worthy libations. So perhaps you’ll go with the trusty Pisco Sour or mix things up a tad, such as the all-time favorite, the elegantly smoky Oaxacalifornia Love – made with Vida Mezcal, Espolon Blanco, fresh lime juice and pineapple rocoto gomme. And definitely give the Watermelon Margarita a shot; it may sound as if it tastes light, but the jalapeno infusion gives it a trademark punch. Amaro lovers will appreciate the Greyhound Express, comprised of Macchu Pisco, Campari, Aperol, fresh passion fruit, fresh lemon juice and evaporated cane syrup.