Mo-Chica Tasting Menu

Last Thursday, I was ready to tackle one of the restaurants on my wish list, Scarpetta. It would be my second attempt to go to the restaurant (the first time, I ended up going to a Test Kitchen night) and I guess Chef Scott and his spaghetti will to have to wait yet again because we ended up at owner and chef Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-Chica for their special tasting menu dinner to benefit for Japanese relief. The 6-course (well, 5 as one was actually a cocktail) dinner was priced at $45 and $10 of it went to victims.

"Cachaca" featuring Bill of StreetGourmetLA

Bill from StreetGourmetLA performed for us this evening. The 3-piece band called themselves Cachaca.


close up on the yuquitas con pollo

Our first course were the yuquitas con pollo. The fried snackies as I called them were stuffed yucca, manchego cheese, crispy chicken with a rocoto sauce.


I loved the scallops tiradito with the spicy lemon dressing and salsa criolla. The delicate scallops were thinly sliced, and served raw. Think of it as a cross between ceviche and carpaccio.


Deysi, former host at Rivera and Test Kitchen and current bartender at Fraiche Santa Monica created this Peruvian cocktail with pisco and brandy. It also had juiced ginger and ginger ale. Quite refreshing.


The sea bass was my favorite course of the night. I’ve always loved Mo-Chica’s sea bass though. This version was served with a tomato stew, crab meat, roasted tomatoes and garbanzos.


Our other savory course was the chicharron, also known as pork belly! I loved the black mint sauce served with the pork.


The final course was the alfajor dessert. The classic Peruvian dessert was delicate squares of short bread sandwiching dulce de leche. Ah, so good.

I’ll have to investigate future tastings at Mo-Chica. In the meantime, Chef Ricardo Zarate, Food and Wine magazine’s 2011 winner for Best New Chef, is cooking with Chef Ben Bailly on Monday, April 18th. The Rustic Monday at Fraiche Culver City will feature 3-courses for $35. You have a choice of Chef Ben’s or Chef Ricardo’s menu. Portion of the proceeds will go towards Japan relief.


3655 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007 – (213) 747-2141