West Hollywood: Chef Ricardo Zarate is Back with Rosaline Restaurant
I have been following the career of Chef Ricardo Zarate since his days at Mochica at the Mercado La Paloma. I was super bummed when he left Picca and have been anticipating his return ever since. Sure, he’s done popups and consulted on projects in LA including a fast casual Peruvian concept at the Hollywood and Highland complex but Rosaline truly feels like his.
Now open in the old Comme Ca space in West Hollywood, Rosaline is named after Chef Ricardo’s mother who recently passed away. You can’t miss the bright pink neon sign outside. And the space is full of cheerful and thoughtful touches. The bar program was created by Jeremy Lake of Lost Property Bar. The mixed drinks go so very well with the modern Peruvian food.
I had made reservations for the restaurant but spent hours at the bar because that’s just where I felt comfortable. Next time I’ll have to sit in the back patio where it feels very tropical and jungle-like with the lush plants.
We started our night with a couple of Quita Calzons. These mezcal drinks were perfect with with our ceviche. The gooseberry and coconut water worked so well together. It’s a very balanced drink.
Quita Calzon – El Silencio mezcal, gooseberry, coconut water, lime
While we were perusing the ceviche list, our wimpy “not too spicy” tastebuds won this night. We asked for the least spicy one (exclusing the veggie ceviche– made with king mushrooms). We ended up with the kampachi. Next time I’ll have to try the scallops or halibut when I’m feeling up for the spicy challenge. This one did sneak up a bit on you.
I love causa and this one was served in a pretty jar. The eggplant terrine also came with potato mousse and avocado. This vegetarian starter is surprisingly light. Next time I would like to try the beef hearts anticucho.
You can’t have Peruvian food without a pisco sour! Rosaline’s are served in traditional cups that are handmade. You’re supposed to pour a bit out for a Peruvian god (pour one out for the homies, homie) but of course that would make the floor entirely too sticky. Instead, cup with both hands and acknowledge your buddy at the bar while you take your first sip.
Being a huge seafood nut, we got the blue prawns. Chef Ricardo personally brought these out to us. He encouraged us to eat the shrimp entirely, shells and all.
My favorite drink this night was the Passion of the Geist. It’s so refreshing and much needed with our skyrocketing temperatures.
Passion of the Geist – cachaca, blanco tequila, banana liqueur, creme de cassis liqueur, passion fruit, lime
It’s a little hard to see the huge chunks of filet mignon in the lomo saltado as they’re covered by a beautiful sunny side up egg but trust me, get this dish if you love steak. The beef was so juicy and tender. Normally I see fried chunks of potato or even fries with lomo saltado but I really liked these baby potatoes, cipollini onions and tomato coulis. It’s such a masterpiece dish.
We could have stopped at the lomo saltado but we couldn’t miss Chef Ricardo’s chaufa (fried rice). I was at a food festival once a few years back and he served his chaufa. It was the best thing I ate that night. And I couldn’t believe this chaufa paella was even better. That’s because it comes in a pan and the rice slowly crisps up. Be sure to eat every last bit of this. You don’t want to miss the pancetta, sausage or prawns.
With so many good looking menu items, I might have to go back two or three times to cover them all. But I don’t mind, it’ll be a fun adventure.(323) 297-9500 © The Minty 2017