Thursday, July 25, 2013

Paiche (Marina del Rey)

After Picca and Mo Chica, Ricardo Zarate is moving further south with Paiche in Marina del Rey.
The name Paiche comes from a type of fish from the Amazon, but you can't just use the name without serving it, so Paiche does indeed serve paiche. Of course, I had to try some and went for the Paiche tiradito (Amazonian fish, aji amarillo lemon vinaigrette, tamari, sweet potato mousse - $10)
In keeping with their other restaurants, the cocktails here are worth trying. The cocktail program is helmed Deysi Alvarez who has been working with Zarate and Stephane Bombet at the previous restaurants. One of my favorites is The Last Ice Age (Pisco Porton, Hakushu whiskey 12yr, egg white, lime, lemon, evaporated simple syrup, Fernet Branca drops - $13)
It's frothy without being too sweet or rich, this will be nice for the summer nights ahead.

For appetizers, I suggest the Yuquitas (stuffed yucca beignets, Manchego cheese, grated parmesan - $8)
These beignets are quite unique. They're pretty light, chewy, and the combination of fried yucca and creamy cheese is delicious.
There are more potent cocktail choices, too, including the Champs Elysees (Pierre Ferrand Cognac, green chartreuse, lemon, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, lemon essence - $13)
The Bernard Devoto AKA The Master of Intoxication (Sino reposado tequila, Christian Drouin calvados brandy, yellow chartreuse, benedictine, angostura bitters) is strong yet still easy to drink.

Uni shrimp toast (sea urchin, shrimp paste toast, rocoto honey sauce - $14)
Uni Toast
This may be their most popular menu item now, because anything is better with uni!

Ceviche de Pato (confit duck, ceviche stew, Pallares tacu tacu - $11)
Ceviche de Pato

It wasn't what I expected from "ceviche de pato" but the duck confit bit in the description should've given it away. Either way, this was one of my favorites. A hearty dish with tender duck confit and creamy lima bean "risotto".

Arroz con conchas negras y erizo (blood clams, sea urchin, risotto - $18)

I liked the richness of the flavor but honestly i couldn't taste much of the sea urchin.

The dessert menu is small and not as interesting as the savory menu. We tried the Chocolate cake ($9) drizzled with passionfruit sauce.
Paiche is certainly an exciting opening for Marina del Rey. While they do have menu items only available at Paiche, it doesn't seem particularly Japanese or Izakaya style compared to their other locations, though. Sit near the outside for a nice summer dinner with Deysi's great cocktails.

IMG_5123 Paiche
13488 Maxella Ave
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 893-6100
Paiche on Urbanspoon



Great place and a welcome hip addition to the Westside. I've been 3 times and had about 2/3 of the menu (cataloged here). Really bright flavors and good format.

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