Bestia officially opened its doors this past weekend in downtown LA's Arts District. A contemporary brick building decorated with reclaimed materials, Bestia is hidden among the nondescript warehouses of downtown LA, not far from the Greyhound Station. But when you walk inside, you will forget where you are and be transported into a warm, inviting restaurant with an open kitchen and a long bar for cocktails.
The 2011 hottest new restaurant in LA still holds the title one year from the date of opening. Picca, which means “to nibble,” is home to Chef Ricardo Zarate's modern Peruvian cuisine with a Japanese flair. Picca is about the food and the flavors; it is traditional Peruvian street food elevated to fine dining. With the menu written on the walls, the restaurant is modern, vibrant and casual. From the chefs working at the ceviche bar to the bartenders mixing fresh cocktails at the bar to the full room of diners, the energy is electric and a great dining experience.
Let's start with the cocktails, created by award winning mixologist Julian Cox who oversees the bar programs at Picca, Sotto, Playa and Rivera. The bar is filled only with spirits from South and Latin Americas, such as Rum, Tequila and Pisco (the national spirit of Peru). The cocktail menu includes a description of the ingredients in each cocktail so that you know how they are made.