Mo-chica's refined lomo saltado, with a sauce that's more French than Chinese.
After my first time at Mo-chica I thought I should do some research on Peruvian food, since up until then, I found it a bit lacking in variety and flavor. But the quality of Mo-chica's food has made me hope they will keep introducing new specials so we can get an wider array of Peruvian specialties. I found there are hundreds of dishes that we normally don't see at L.A. Peruvian restaurants, including dozens of desserts beyond the admittedly delicious alfajores cookies.Peruvian ceviche is served with sweet potato, toasted corn and seaweed. This special of scallop ceviche packed a chile wallop. Mo-chica's owner Ricardo Zarate formerly worked at top sushi bars.
Mo-chica was unfortunately out of carob mousse, because I'm one of the few who actually appreciates the flavor of carob, a traditional Peruvian ingredient. I haven't tried Puro Sabor in Van Nuys, but I hear they have picarones, pumpkin donuts.
Lamb shank came with wonderful white canary beans stewed in a cilantro sauce -- they should offer them as a separate dish.
We also had the moist, well-spiced arroz con mariscos, a Peruvian take on paella, and a chicken special -- but the sparklingly fresh ceviches are what will keep me coming back, I think. That, and all the other specials we haven't tried yet -- pork belly, fried seabass, uni ceviche...and that carob mousse.
Mo-Chica Peruvian Restaurant
In Mercado La Paloma
3655 S. Grand Ave., L.A.