On June 25th, Ricardo Zarate officially opens Picca, his eagerly awaited new restaurant of Peruvian marvels. Just over two years ago, and not long before the accolades came flooding in, the chef opened Mo-Chica in a corner of South L.A.'s Mercado Paloma, in between shifts cooking at Wabi Sabi. Picca is housed on the first floor of the former pop-up phenom Test Kitchen that Zarate helped found, and it's great to see the atmosphere here (and all-under-$20 menu) stays accessible. A contemporary space of two open rooms tailored with Idaho barn woods, natural light, open kitchens, vivid tile-work, and murals by a Peruvian artist, Picca feels breezy, unforced, and organic, though not in the least bit raw. The menu, rich with Peruvian anticucho skewers, cebiches, and tiraditos, is much the same as we last saw it, with an expanded selection of sushi and causa options in the segundas section. While a second story mezzanine is yet to be finished, the rest of the space is just about ready to serve you. Come take a look in our slide show.
Not real llama fur.
Quail Egg Anticucho
With potato and Huancaina sauce, from the anticucho bar.
Crispy mixed seafood (squid, shrimp, scallop) with tartara sauce.
Bar and Open Kitchen
Chicken, eggplant, and beef empanadas with salad.
With aji amarillo aioli and wasabi peas, from the anticucho bar.
Grass under glass.
Training Picca staff.
Beef heart, with potato and rocoto sauce, a staple of anticucho.
Black Cod Anticucho
With miso and crispy sweet potato.
The Specialty Times tells a few fishy tales while sitting below some of the dishes.
Santa Barbara Spot Prawn
With lemon grass yuzu kosho pesto.
Chefs During Training
Kobocha with sweet miso sauce.
Shares a building with Sotto in the former home of Test Kitchen on Pico.
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