Archive for the 'Peruvian' Category

L.A. Weekly’s Tacolandia: A Sneak Preview with Mo-Chica, Tamales Elena & Coni’Seafood

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My friend Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet L.A. is curating a taco-fueled food fest next Sunday, June 23rd called Tacolandia. Held from noon until 5 PM at the Hollywood Palladium, Tacolandia promises a stellar line up of the best taqueros from Los Angeles, Orange County, and Baja (a complete list of participants below). In addition to terrific tacos, and lots of them, Tacolandia will include music and a tequila garden! I can’t think of a better way to spend $20 and a Sunday afternoon, really.

Tacolandia Preview: Tamales Elena

Last Saturday, Bill coordinated a taco tour for a group of friends and food writers to highlight three of Tacolandia’s talents. This cross-town jaunt took us to Downtown Los Angeles, Watts, and Inglewood, where each restaurant provided  a sneak peek of the dish they’ll be preparing for the event.

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The first stop on the #Tacolandia media blitz was Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-Chica for a Peruvian-Mexican mashup.

Continue reading ‘L.A. Weekly’s Tacolandia: A Sneak Preview with Mo-Chica, Tamales Elena & Coni’Seafood’

Anticucheria Peruana – Los Angeles (Norwalk)

Anticucheria Peruana - Los Angeles (Norwalk)

Anticucheria Peruana, also known as Anticucheria Danessi, may very well be California’s first restaurant dedicated to anticuchos, grilled Peruvian skewers. In addition to the signature offal offerings, Mario Danessi’s brightly lit and colorfully painted spot also serves mariscos, fruits of the sea prepared with Peruvian flare.

The Astronomer and I stopped in for lunch while exploring southeastern Los Angeles.

Anticucheria Peruana - Los Angeles (Norwalk)

While we waited for our food to arrive, we couldn’t help but admire the amazing mural spanning the entire length of the restaurant. It featured a multicultural cast chowing down on beef hearts, stomach lining, and Peruvian doughnuts. They were the happiest looking cartoon folks I’d ever seen.

Anticucheria Peruana - Los Angeles (Norwalk)

The anticuchos de corazon, thinly sliced beef hearts seasoned in a wicked aji colorado marinade, are the restaurant’s signature dish. While the heart of the matter was appealingly chewy, its edges were charred just so.

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Picca – West Los Angeles

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Earlier this summer, I was tasked to photograph the food at Chef Ricardo Zarate‘s newest restaurant Picca. In exchange for a suite of photos, a friend and I were treated to dinner on the house. Considering how tough it is to score a reservation and the accolades surrounding the food, it was a more than fair trade in my book.

I’ve been sweet on Chef Zarate’s brand of Peruvian fare ever since dining at Mo-Chica, his first venture downtown. With Picca, he and his partner Stephane Bombet have created an energetic cantina serving modern Peruvian cuisine with a Japanese flair. There’s also a lively bar mixing up cocktails masterminded by Julian Cox.

Picca - West Los Angeles

The restaurant was barely three-weeks old when my friend Danny and I came in for dinner. Chef Zarate, who was recently named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine, was calmly expediting at the pass.

The restaurant was insanely packed this evening, and we ended up having to wait nearly an hour for our table to open up. To pass the time away, Danny and I sipped on some pretty pink cocktails including the Martin Ricky ($11) and the Rhubarb Sidecar ($11). Real men drink pink.

Picca - West Los Angeles

The long wait was more than worth it when we were seated smack dab in front of the robata grill. Sous Chef Brian Huskey provided the evening’s entertainment with smoke, flames, and all sorts of skewering.

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Lomo Arigato – Los Angeles

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I love the Los Angeles mobile food scene. Sure, the food can be hit or miss and the lines can be alarming, but I’m a sucker for entrepreneurial ventures, especially of the edible variety. The only beef I have with the  movement is its extreme bias toward The Westside of the city. Those of us who dwell east of the 5 must hoof it across town to partake in the fun or resign ourselves to weeping over our Twitter feeds. I’d willingly give up the Rose Parade in exchange for some meals-on-wheels affection!

On the second Thursday of every month, something downright magical happens—all of the city’s gourmet roach coaches roll into downtown Los Angeles for the Art Walk. Downtown isn’t exactly Pasadena, but it is definitely closer to home than Venice, so I’ll take what I can get.

LOMO ARIGATO

The first truck that The Astronomer and I visited on a recent Art Walk venture was Lomo Arigato. Eric Nakata, the truck’s chef and owner, dishes out Peruvian cuisine with a Japanese flare. According the Chef Nakata, the food is Peruvian while the spicing is Japanese (i.e. Kikkoman soy sauce). The name of the truck is a combination of its signature dish—lomo saltado, and the Japanese word for ‘thank you very much’—domo arigato.

What’s special about the Lomo Arigato truck is its “open kitchen.” While waiting for our food to be prepared, we were entertained by a pyrotechnic display.

LOMO ARIGATO MENU

Lomo Arigato’s menu is only three items long—lomo saltado, chaufa (Peruvian-style fried rice), and tallarin saltado (Peruvian-style spaghetti). Each dish was priced at $7.

LOMO SALTADO

The Astronomer and I went with Chef Nakata’s suggestion and ordered the signature lomo saltado, which was comprised of tri-tip steak, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and french fries sauteed in red wine and soy sauce, and served over white rice. Aji sauce, also known on the truck as “the green sauce,” was served on the side.

The generously portioned lomo saltado was seasoned simply and well. The aji sauce stood out as the star of Lomo Arigato show. Its complex spiciness and addicting creaminess kicked all of the ingredients up several notches. Our only complaint with the lomo saltado was that the onions weren’t cooked well enough. A gentle caramelization would’ve made the entire dish a lot more appealing. Next time around, I’ll specifically request for the onions to be well done.

Follow Lomo Arigato on Twitter @lomoarigato.

POWER RANKINGS

India Jones Chow Truck > Dim Sum Truck > World Fare Bustaurant < Border Grill Truck > Cool Haus > Lomo Arigato > Don Chow > Kogi > Marked 5 > Dosa Truck > Phamish

 

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