Ricardo Zarate Archives - Please The Palate
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Pico Boulevard in West LA has been a sleepy street for many years. A few restaurants are tucked along the street that have been there forever. And while I live only one mile from Pico Boulevard, I was not going to Pico very often until Khong Ten opened up. And now there is Pikoh LA, located in the former Chan Dara space, that has added a new life to Pico Blvd. The space at Pikoh is modern, open, casual and inviting. The colors are clean, the decor is minimal and there is fresh greenery placed throughout the restaurant. There is a long bar for counter seating, a dining room separated by plants, the front section for happy hour seating and the main dining room. And there is outdoor seating as well. Pikoh is a perfect neighborhood restaurant. Open all day, they serve breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. But more than having a coffee bar, a cocktail bar and food, Pikoh has delicious, flavorful food that will keep you coming back! This is because Chef Ricardo Zarate, of Rosaline and Los Balcones Studio City, is behind Pikoh LA! And, while this is not another Peruvian restaurant, this all-day casual concept features California cuisines with Peruvian and Asians flavors.
Chef and Author of the Fire of Peru, Ricardo Zarate is on fire! Considered the "godfather of Peruvian cuisine", he is spreading the flavors and excitement of Peruvian food across Los Angeles. His restaurant Rosaline in West Hollywood showcases classic Peruvian dishes and his new place, Los Balcones in Studio City, explores Mestizo cuisine, Peruvian dishes blended with Spanish and Asian flavors. Los Balcones is located on the corner of Moorpark, just east of Tujunga. It sits in the space that was previously Girasol. Los Balcones has kept some of the decor, including the magnificent ceiling that looks like an etched flower. After sitting down in the covered patio looking out onto Moorpark Avenue, our first order of business was to select our drinks. We ordered the "special" cocktail that was described as inspired by Zarate's book, The First of Peru, and was made with mezacal and an orange juice ice cube. The serving of the cocktail was the first hint of what we were in for - lots of flavor, a little heat and some of the most colorful dishes you may have ever seen.
I first tried the delicious Peruvian flavors of Chef Ricardo Zarate in 2009 when he opened Mo-Chica inside Mercado La Paloma in Downtown Los Angeles. I last saw him in 2015 when his first book, entitled The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen, was released and he was hosting a Peruvian pop-up called Once (on-seh) in Venice. And, lucky for Los Angelenos, he is back with the opening of his new restaurant Rosaliné, Please The Palate's "pick of the week." Rosaliné, named after his mother, is located in the former Comme Ca space on Melrose and La Cienega. The restaurant is slated to open in mid-June but I was fortunate to get a sneak peak this past week at the final LA Food Bowl Hanging with Harris dinner and Santa Barbara County Wines, raising money for No Kid Hungry. 
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