Showing posts with label ceviche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ceviche. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter DineLA Menu at Commerson

It's been a while since I've done Dine LA Restaurant Week, but I recently checked out a new (to me) restaurant, Commerson on La Brea. I've read that this place is one of the underrated gems in LA, so I was excited to try it.

Commerson's Dine LA dinner menu is $39 per person for three courses. The first course option includes:
Red snapper ceviche with avocado and plantain chips.
Commerson dineLA
The portions were quite good for the price and as you can see, the ingredients they use were obviously fresh.

One of the other choices was the butternut squash agnolotti with parmigiano reggiano and brown butter sage.
Commerson dineLA
This agnolotti is always a good pasta dish to have in the colder months, and Commerson's rendition was a good one.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Michael Serpa's Select Oyster Bar (Boston, MA)

When Michael Serpa, the chef who headed the kitchen at wildly popular Neptune Oyster, left to start a new restaurant, all seafood lovers should follow.

Select Oyster Bar
Chef Michael Serpa
Michael Serpa recently opened Select Oyster Bar in Back Bay. This restaurant is slightly bigger than Neptune, but still intimate. Less casual, yet still serving great seafood - both raw and cooked, with a nice list of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Select Oyster Bar
We started with some Dayboat scallop (from New Bedford, MA) ceviche. So fresh and I love the crunchy texture that the peppers added!
Select Oyster Bar
Of course, there are plenty of local oysters. We went with a couple each of the Island Creek, Wellfleet, and Pemaquid
Select Oyster Bar

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rick Bayless Opens Red O in Santa Monica

by guest blogger @btsunoda

Celebrity chef  Rick Bayless, recently extended his LA base of operations to include another Red O. Located on picturesque Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, it’s just a hop skip and a jump from the iconic Santa Monica Pier.

A pre-grand opening party was recently held there. The menu is similar to their original location on Melrose: appetizers, ceviche and raw bar, soups and salads, steak and seafood, other entrees and sides. Thanks to corn being the staple starch in Mexican food, almost everything on their menu is gluten free.
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The interior is modern chic. Premium tequila and mezcal bottles attractively line the walls.
During the party, an impressive “Red O” tower of seafood commanded the interior.
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It was surrounded by two different types of Mexican ceviche, oysters on the half shell and crab legs.

One of my favorites that evening was the Shrimp & Calamari Ceviche.   IMG_1800

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

La Tostaderia: A Cut Above

by guest blogger @iam_robot

There’s more that meets the eyes to this tiny booth inside Grand Central Market than its namesake tostada – imagine everything you like in a seafood and amplify that sea flavor with fresh salsa verde, chipotle cream sauce, or crème fraiche. I saw the menu and I was dancing with joy! Situated strategically near the entrance and across from Belcampo Meat, Fernando Villagomes (of carnitas fame Las Morelianas) and Chef Sandra Felix (formerly Campanile) are serving up modern ceviche, tacos, and tostadas utilizing traditional recipe and fresh seafood from Baja and the Pacific Coast.

Expect to see thick slices of halibut, wild Mexican shrimp or grilled octopus swimming in a sea of yuzu juice, verde, or habanero sauce. Progressive yet refined and traditional in flavors. Other than the bright neon mermaid sign, there’s nothing in this stall that’d suggest this is a ritzy joint. Instead, the vibe here feels like your favorite cafeteria with its black and blue ceramic tiles, chalkboard menus, and 12 counter chairs. Bring a friend and grab a Michelada from Las Morelianas, I think you could have a memorable Mexican feast for under $30. Here are a few of my favorite things from the menu:

Sarandeado Shrimp Tacos: sautéed shrimp, seasonal veggies, salsa verde and chipotle cream sauce

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Generous serving of sautéed shrimp contrasts nicely against the bright salsa verde and sweet caramelized onion. The chipotle cream sauce adds tang and cooling underneath. Definitely one of the more delicious tacos I’ve tried in LA.

Corvina Fish Tacos: corn tortilla, avocado purée, pork cracklings, salsa verde, and pickled red onions.
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Another winner! Fish is skillfully fried to golden brown perfection while the zing of the salsa verde meshed delightfully with inherent sweetness of the avocado puree and red onions. I appreciate the addition of pork cracklings here, it adds saltiness and crunchiness to the party.

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)
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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)
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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)
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These beignets are quite unique. They're pretty light, chewy, and the combination of fried yucca and creamy cheese is delicious.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eat.Drink.Americano, Downtown LA Gastropub

Another gastropub has popped up down the street from Wurstkuche. When you want more than sausages and truffle-y fries, head to Eat. Drink. Americano for some cheese, small bites, or flatbreads with your drink.

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The craft beers and wines are all from California (as you can see from the wall decor, they're sticking with local). They also carry a couple of wines on tap. The 2009 Silver Tap Zinfandel from Sonoma County ($7) is a robust one to go with food.


The menu is divided into cured meats and cheeses, bites, and flatbreads. Since the place is new, the menu is still evolving. We focused on the "bites" portion and pretty much got the whole section, starting with the Duck and Pickles ($14)
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Confit of duck, pickled vegetables, and baguettes. Simple and satisfying.

King Crab Canneloni and Cauliflower Foam ($15)
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You can't really see the canneloni under the foam in this picture, but the tube-shaped pasta is filled with lumps of king crab. The cauliflower foam was a good complement and fun to boot (although there was a tad too much of it).

I was looking forward to trying their steak tartar with mustard ice cream that I read about, but they didn't have it the night I went. Oh, well, instead I found their Soft Shell Crab Sandwich ($13)!
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This was my absolute favorite. The crispy soft shell crab is sandwiched between biscuits with a creamy mayo dressing. For me, it's the crunch of the seaweed is what really made it. Get this while they have it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Revisiting Asia de Cuba (West Hollywood)

I remembered Asia de Cuba as an early date place, with its view of West Hollywood and its lobster mashed potatoes and plantain fried rice. Eons ago. I haven't been back, what's with all the new restaurants in town to try, and the restaurant is pretty expensive (especially with $12 valet). It's one of those "seen and be seen" places. I was recently invited for a tasting, as the menu had changed quite a bit with the arrival of the new chef, though signature dishes still remain.

There is now a whole ceviche section, served with plantain chips and toasted sesame tapioca chips:
Black grouper, sevilla orange, aji amarillo, yuzu and horseradish

Photo courtesy of Asia de Cuba
Wild salmon and salted avocado helado, spicy coconut milk, bird's eye pepper and black lava salt ($7)
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The avocado helado (that's ice cream for you) was a cool addition to the dish in both sense of the word.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mo-Chica: Bringing Upscale Peruvian to a Casual Downtown Mercado

Ever since it opened, Ricardo Zarate's Mo Chica has been applauded all over the blogosphere as perhaps the best Peruvian restaurant in town, but the location belies its quality. Tucked inside Mercado La Paloma, a community marketplace in South Central, only those knowing where to go would find it.
I had wanted to check the place out for so long and then the 30% off Blackboard Eats coupon came along and now there's really no reason not to go. I joined the group of bloggers Sinosoul, Wanderkind, Lush Angeles, and Thirsty Pig for a dinner here.

There are juice bars, clothing and knick knack stores, then to the right of the entrance there are neatly arranged tables. That had to be it, and it was.
It looks like a food court but you do get waitress service here, so just take a seat and wait.

Addictive Peruvian corn nuts to start!
The big and starchy peruvian corn is perfect for these corn nuts. They left this plate in front of me and I have to admit I probably ate most of it.

Mo-Chica offers three traditional Peruvian drinks (non-alcoholic, Mo-Chica has no liquor license): Maracuya, Cebada, and Chicha Morada. I had a hard time deciding but finally decided to try the Cebada, their version of barley tea (or barley juice, rather).
A good choice if you wanted something less sweet yet still distinctive and refreshing.

Crab Causa ($4)
This was a generous portion of creamy delicious crab meat for just $4! The causa I had at La Mar in Lima was potato topped with seafood, here it is instead lots of crab topped with a layer of potato. For the price, highly recommended. I would've happily ordered another.

Next we got some Peruvian potatoes in a creamy mayo sauce.
Nothing special here, with the egg and all it reminds of potato salad. Not bad but wouldn't crave it. Moving on.

Seabass Cebiche ($12)
Since the cebiche option changes, depending on your luck what you have may be better or worse. The seabass is definitely good and this was one of the best ceviches I've had in town, although in comparison to the causa we just had, this $12 for seabass cebiche seems a little more steep.

I arrived before everyone else in the group and since the waitress said there was only one order left of the special of the day, I reserved it immediately:
Ling Cod Carapulcra with sundried potatoes, Chimichurri Sauce ($14)
Carapulcra is an ancient Peruvian stew typically made with dried potatoes, chili, cumin, peanuts, and usually pork. The ling cod carapulcra here is a much more refined and lighter version. I'm really glad we got the last order, this was an amazing dish. The stew was flavorful yet restrained enough to not overwhelm the flavor of the cod itself.

They had another ling cod preparation since the carapulcra ran out and it was also good, but I enjoyed the carapulcra more.

Oxtail Risotto ($13): Braised oxtail, barley-huancaina risotto
The oxtail was so tender and moist and the risotto well flavored and well prepared. Despite the use of a gelatinous cut and a creamy risotto, the dish was quite well balanced and was not overwhelmingly heavy. This might be my favorite dish that night.

Seco de Cordero ($13)
Lamb shank, canario beans, cilantro, beer sauce
I looked up canario beans and they are apparently yellow Peruvian beans. The lamb shank was quite tender and flavorful also but while I normally love lamb shank, I actually preferred the oxtail here. Still, this was another very nice dish and not too heavy.

Everyone was going to skip dessert but I couldn't help myself when I heard "maracuya creme brulee."
The slight tartness made for a nice finish to our meal.

Mo-Chica's food preparation and plating were definitely unexpectedly refined considering its location. Ricardo Zarate has brought Peruvian cuisine in the area to a new level, and with prices that are undeniably reasonable with the entrees priced less than $15. Our meal that night? Sure we used a 30% BBE coupon but $17 per person after tax and tips for what we had was ridiculously cheap.

Mo-Chica
3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 747-2141
www.mo-chica.com
Mo-Chica on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Border Grill Truck: Curbside Ceviche

Food trucks and taco trucks especially are filling up the streets of LA ever since Kogi's success story. But the Border Grill truck rolled out bringing the food of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger that had already stood the test of customers in the Border Grill restaurants into the streets.

When I approached Ciudad for a donation for Bid and Eat for Haiti, they asked me if I had checked out the Border Grill truck. Why, no, I hadn't. I promised I would so per their invitation I stopped by for lunch en route to work. The truck was parked in front of LA Mart for the day.
I asked them to just give me whatever they want/think is best and ended up with a lot of food for one!

Peruvian ceviche ($5.00) - mahi mahi, lime, ginger, aji amarillo chile, pickled onion, corn, tortilla cone
Ceviche for $5? Nice. This was a good lightly spicy ceviche rendition with generous amount fresh and meaty mahi mahi. Also, being a corn-whore I really liked that extra touch. It was a bit too acidic for me to finish the whole thing though. In the end, I prefer my ceviche with leche de tigre sauce as the one I had at La Mar Cebicheria (in Lima - I thought the SF one was not as great) - a subtle tang and more focus on the fish instead.

Next I had two of their favorite tacos:
Yucatan pork taco ($2.50) - roasted achiote pork, pickled onion, orange salsa
crispy Baja fish taco ($3.00) - chipotle honey, creamy salsa fresca
Both of these tacos were great. The price point for tacos here are higher than other "taco trucks" and the portion smaller yet that higher price is worth it. These tacos weren't simply "put together." The ingredients are fresher, leaner, higher quality and you won't feel like as much as a grease pit as you usually might after a taco run. The condiments are well thought out and complement the main ingredient. I particularly liked the fish taco. The crispy breading held a meaty and juicy piece of fish. With the creamy salsa fresca? It's like fish n chips with a kick.

Dessert options here are still limited. I tried their Churro bites ($3.00) dulce de leche infused churros, cinnamon sugar, whipped cream
Unlike your usual crunchy churro, these infused churro bites are doughy. I liked the dulce de leche infusion but still preferred it crunchy outside like a typical churro.

I'm now a bit bummed about going to the truck before the Gold standard event though, since apparently there they served an amazing avocado and fried quinoa taco that both vegetarians and carnivores alike rave about.

Border Grill Truck
http://www.bordergrill.com/bg_t/bg_twel.htm
Twitter: @BorderGrill
Border Grill Truck (multiple locations) on Urbanspoon
Border Grill Truck in Los Angeles

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jungle Food Marathon Part 1: From Africa to Peru

9 foodies, 4 "jungle foods" restaurants (+1 drink stop), 7 hours.

Back in November (yes, I'm behind ... ) 7 foodbloggers and some of their +1s made a trek from Inglewood down to Westminster to hit "jungle food" restaurants, i.e. cuisines from countries with jungles. Led by Mattatouille, the group that included FoodMarathon, LA&OC Foodie, FoodDestination, DigLounge, Teenage Glutster, and I made our first stop at a Nigerian restaurant, Nkechi African Cafe.

This was actually a detour as our original stop, Saaris, was closed. Thanks to iPhone's Yelp app we managed to find this African place nearby.
The place was completely empty when we arrived and the one staff they had there was definitely shocked to see the nine of us walk in.

We got some fermented palm juice to share around the table. It tasted slightly carbonated and was actually lighter and not as sweet as I had thought (or wanted it) to be.
So here you can order any type of rice/stew and get any of the different types of meat they offer.

We started out with some Jollof Rice with mixed meat
This was a good start. The tomato based rice reminds me of jambalaya a bit. The mixed meat was tasty (they were deep fried :P ).

Next we had some egusi soup (made with melon seeds) with goat meat, with some balls of starch (either fu fu which is made of cassava, or eba, made from yam)"
The egusi soup with goat meat was not bad, though the texture was rather interesting. It's rather hard to describe. Let's just say I would eat this again. If I have to.

The other dish we got was the ogbono soup, which is made with mango pits, and we ordered this with fish.
Umm. So. None of us liked this. I think Mattatouille was the only one who kept giving it more tries, while most of us stopped after two or three. The consensus, I believe, was that this tasted like "rubber tire with a slight hint of blue cheese."

Besides Teenage Glutster, I think this was the first time most of us had Nigerian food, but it's doubtful that we would try ogbono soup again. At least we can say that it tasted pretty darn authentic :P

Nkechi African Cafe
2717 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90305
(323) 541-1265
Nkechi African Cafe on Urbanspoon

Now, with that rubbery taste in our mouth, we rushed down to our next stop - El Rocoto Peruvian restaurant down in Gardena.
The strip mall joint was relatively busy and our server was a bit surprised (disappointed?) that the nine of us only ordered 4 dishes but then we told her of our lil excursion.

BTW, I was also disappointed because I saw Cusquena Negra on the menu but apparently they don't actually have it :(

We started with, of course, some ceviche mixto.
Just like Food Destination, I also just went to Peru last summer, and having had the amazing ceviche at La Mar, this doesn't quite measure up, but it was still pretty good.

We also got a combination plate containing seco de cardero (lamb stew with cilantro) and cau cau (tripes and potatoes)
The seco de cardero is hearty and gamey - this was my favorite dish of the whole meal. I wanted to get seconds but it was all gone by the end :< (Hmm I think FoodMarathon finished it .... ) The 'saltado' dish which is just sauteed with tomatoes and onions with thick fries served with lightly seasoned rice is a very popular Peruvian dish. Here we got the seafood version, saltado mariscos
I thought this was a decent version, though not as flavorful as I've had before.

We also got some Chifa dish, which is the Peruvian version of Chinese dishes. This is the pollo enrollado (chicken rolled up with pork, shrimp, asparagus, with veggies in oyster sauce).
I have no real opinion on this dish. It was enjoyable though I prefer to have my Chinese and my Peruvian food separately.

This meal definitely was way more enjoyable than our first and we were glad to get the ogbono soup taste out of our mouths!

El Rocoto Peruvian Restaurant
1356 W Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248
www.elrocoto.com
(310) 768-8768

El Rocoto Peruvian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

This adventure is to be continued on my next post as I go through the other restaurants. In the meantime though, you can read the other bloggers' accounts of this adventure:
LA&OC Foodie's , DigLounge's, , FoodDestination's, Teenage Glutster's and then you can take the quiz at FoodMarathon's site!

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