Sunday, March 10, 2019

Los Balcones and Chef Ricardo Zarate Pairs Up to Serve Mestizo Cuisine in Studio City

Los Balcones has been dishing up traditional Peruvian food for a few years now in LA, but the Studio City location (which took over the old Girasol space) has partnered up with Chef Ricardo Zarate to revamp the whole menu along with chef Polit Castillo. The result is mestizo cuisine, referring to the multicultural influence both in Peru and on the menu, in particular the mix of Peruvian and Spanish cultures.

You won't find the traditional Peruvian food that you see at the other Los Balcones locations here. Beyond lomo saltado and ceviche, they want to show more of what modern cooking in Peru is like. We started with the Salmon tiradito, beet tiger's milk, roasted baby beets, orange miso, beet powder ($16)
Is this not the most beautiful tiradito you've ever seen? It was overall a great tiradito, although the beet slightly overpowers the salmon flavor.

Los Balcones also have some good cocktails, like this Margarita Sofia (tequila, passion fruit, lime, huacatay)
Los Balcones
Ceviche frito, striped bass, rocoto leche de tigre, roasted sweet potato, cancha corn chulpe ($16)
Los Balcones
This was my first time having ceviche frito (fried ceviche). It's apparently a fairly recent trend in Peruvian cooking where the seafood is marinated in leche de tigre (a la ceviche) and then fried. Adding this to the menu is a nod to the evolution of Peruvian cuisine.

They also paired our dinner with some great wines.
Los Balcones
The salmon tiradito was paired with 2016 De Martino Gallardia Cinsault from Chile. It's a light red wine with high acidity that pairs well with seafood.

Quinotto (quinoa risotto, shimeji, shiitake, trumpet mushroom, maitake, pecorino, truffle essence ($24)
Los Balcones
The quinoa risotto was something that Ricardo Zarate has perfected from his previous restaurants. The version at Los Balcones is a great one, with the earthy mushrooms contrasted with the fresh flavors of the parsley oil.

This was paired with a 2017 Aplanta red wine blend from the Alentejo region in Portugal. At Los Balcones, some diners are lucky enough to get treated to some porron action.

Los Balcones
Sommelier Sarah Jones pouring wine from a porron

El Dorado (pan seared sea bream, lentils, cilantro salsa verde, creme fraiche, arugula - $28)
Los Balcones
I love the crispy skin on the fish. There's again a nice contrast of flavors here.

Our last savory course: Costilla de short ribs, northern style. 6 hours slow cooked beer tomato panca, lima bean tacu tacu, sunny side egg, salsa criolla ($38)
Los Balcones
The short rib is served in a metal box like dosirak. The slow cooked short ribs is sweet and needs to be eaten with the tacu tacu (rice and beans).  This was paired with a Ludovicus Garnacha from Terra Alta in Spain.
The mestizo cuisine at Los Balcones in Studio City combined with the wine and cocktail offerings make the restaurant worth the drive to Studio City. Valley residents are lucky to have this new addition to the area dining options. For the non-meat eaters, Los Balcones also now offers an entirely vegan menu.

Los Balcones
11334 Moorpark St
Studio City, CA 91602 
Los Balcones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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