With the opening of Picca Peru, Chef Ricardo Zarate has expanded and elevated the Peruvian cooking that earned him a 2011 "Best New Chef" award from Food and Wine Magazine. While his first, low-key restaurant Mo-Chica focuses on traditional Peruvian entrees, the hip Picca devotes its attention to modern anticuchos (small plates)--admirably, without losing touch with the food's roots.
As a big fan of both Chef Ricardo and his business partner Stephane Bombet, J and I were practically foaming at the mouth to get a taste!
Chilcano de Anis ($11.00): Lime juice, ginger syrup, pisco, perod
Tuna Tartare ($12.00): Tuna, lemon soy dressing, won ton chips
Papa rellena ($7.00): Stuffed potato, slow cooked beef, boiled egg, rocoto aioli
Empanada Trio ($9.00): Beef, chicken and eggplant
These delightful two bite-sized empanadas were impossibly flaky and sampling each of the three with each dipping sauce was great fun for the taste buds.
Snow Crab Causa "Sushi" ($6.00): Cucumber, avocado and huancaina sauce
Beef Filet ($9.00): Uni (sea urchin) butter, garlic chip
These beef filet anticuchos arrived at the table, positively glistening with uni butter and inviting us to first eat them with our eyes. Pillow soft with a hint of ocean brine, the beef managed to taste even better than it looked and was a highlight of the night.
Santa Barbara Prawns ($12.00): Lemongrass yuzu kosho pesto
Chicharron de Costillas ($9.00): Crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, feta cheese sauce, salsa criolla
Bisteck a lo Pobre ($14.00): Skirt steak, egg, pan-fried banana, chickpeas tacu tacu
The flavors of the bisteck a lo pobre were some of the most reserved of our dinner, but the sweet and savory components combined to create a hearty, comforting dish that reminded me of a Hawaiian loco moco.
Tres Leches Cake ($7.00): With the creamy, boozy and fruity flavors at work in this dessert, I was in tres leches heaven!
The dishes, drinks and desserts on the menu at Picca will continue to evolve, and I look forward to seeing (and sampling) any new additions.
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035