Saturday, December 28, 2013

Revisiting Picca with Gojuchang Lamb Chops and Avocado Cocktail

I never got around to writing about Picca when they first opened, so with the newly decorated upper level mezzanine (I love the warm lights) and new menu items come my opportunity to write about it.

They did not change the entire menu but there are plenty of new items, my favorite of which is the Anticucho de Cordero (lamb chops, gojuchang marinade, aji amarillo miso, $28)

It's a bit pricey for two lamb chops but I just can't get enough of that gojuchang marinade! The lamb was tender but even after the meat was gone I wanted to keep sucking on the bone ...

There are a couple of new cocktails as well, but one of my favorites remained from the old menu, which is the green one pictured below: The Avocado Project (5 Island white rum, fresh avocado, vitamin C (orange juice perhaps?), fresh lime juice, agave nectar, salt, $12)

When I first ordered this drink I was expecting a creamier drink, instead the citrus cuts it nicely, making it a beautifully balanced drink with a hint of avocado flavor.

Chef Ricardo Zarate threw in another version of the Amazonion fish, paiche, with the Paiche fish and chips (beer battered paiche, aji amarillo malt vinegar aioli, sweet potato chips, $14)

Adventurous? Try the Tuna and natto crostini (tuna, white bean puree, natto, soy ceviche, $16)

The flavor was good though that slimy natto still takes a little time to get used to! If you like natto, definitely try this.
Me, I prefer the crispy Anticucho Culito (crispy chicken tail, jalapeno huacatay sauce, $8)

Usually only found at yakitori places, Zarate enhances chicken tail with huacatay.

One of the new cocktails everyone talks about is the Dante Bellpepper (mezcal, red bell pepper, lemon, agave, carrot habanero air)

Yes, it's the carrot habanero air everyone talks about! A peppery mezcal drink is a dime a dozen these days, but bell peppers? Now that's unusual.

Desserts are getting more fun at Picca, and I'm loving it. To try are the Lucuma filled churros ($9)

Lucuma is a native Peruvian fruit. I had many lucuma desserts when I was there, but haven't seen much of it in the US. It makes a great filling for crispy churros, a fun alternative to cajeta.

Beautifully presented are the Alfajores "macarons" (assorted flavors, $12)

Alfajores are typically dulce de leche cookies, but they've made it colorful and more fun with their various rotating flavors, including passionfruit and chocolate. They're not as dense as ones I've had before, making trying all of the flavors much more enjoyable. They also come in a nice box, so you may be able to get them to go as presents?

Picca Peruvian Cantina
9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0133
Picca Peruvian Cantina on Urbanspoon


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