Mo-chica Restaurant Review by Jesse Bluma

Mo-chica Restaurant Review

It is always excellent to stumble upon a new restaurant, especially when the menu offers items that are thoughtfully constructed with good flavor and creativity.  I came across Mo-chica with a friend while looking for a place to eat before an event.  The name, Mo-chica, refers to the pre-Incan time of Peru, which roots the menu in a rich culture.   

“Mo-chica is a vibrant, urban restaurant serving Chef Ricardo Zarate’s modern interpretations on traditional Peruvian comfort food.  Zarate’s cooking philosophy blends his upbringing with experience from his professional résumé. As one of 13 siblings, he first found his calling at the stove in his family’s kitchen in Lima, Peru, next to his mother and grandmother, from whom he learned many of his cooking techniques. He went on to attend his hometown’s top culinary school, Instituto de las Américas, after which he headed to London to practice his craft. Zarate worked in the city for 12 years with various positions at top restaurants and hotels, including One Aldwych, Gordon Ramsey Pengelly’s, and noted Japanese restaurant Zuma. It was at the latter that Zarate perfected his style of integrating French and Japanese techniques and products with the flavors from his native country.”  

Solterito: salad

Alfajores: cookies

My Recommendations

1.  The restaurant is located at 514 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, California.  Public parking is located within a few minute walk of the restaurant at Pershing Square Garage (530 S Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013).  Valet is also available.  On busy nights consider taking a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during weekdays and nights, especially weekend nights.  You may wish to visit for lunch as soon as they open on a weekend.  Make sure to make reservations.

3.  The menu consists of moderately expensive small plates.  The small plates make it possible to taste various items and share with others.  Four plates could be shared between two people.  

4.  I enjoyed the following dishes.  

GRILLED ARTICHOKE:  Braised artichoke, huacatay (herb) butter, rocoto (red pepper) aioli

CEVICHE CARRETILLERO:  Seabass, rocoto, red onion, leche de tigre, choclo, cancha.  Terms to know:  Rocoto is a species of red pepper found in Central America and South America.  Leche de tigre is a lime juice sauce.  Choclo is Peruvian corn.  Cancha is an Andean version of corn nuts.    

ARROZ CON POLLO:  Chicken, cilantro rice, salsa criolla (an onion relish)

QUINOTTO:  Quinoa risotto, wild mushrooms, parmesan, parsley infused oil

5.  Afterwards you may wish to visit some of the other establishments, stores, sites, and activities in the area.  

Note:  a 20% gratuity is added to parties of six or more.


Update:  Mo-Chica has closed.
Visit for more information on Chef Zarate.

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