Sunday, January 9, 2011


Mo-Chica is in a random spot of LA, nestled among a couple other restaurants and a few stores flaunting third-party NBA jerseys. With an unassuming and simple menu, Mo-Chica offers incredible Peruvian fare with a tempered modern twist. Seating is limited, but sufficient, and service is attentive.

I went there with the insatiable baker, her hubby, and her sister. Because of some camera-stealing complications, her hubby was kind enough to lend me his pictures for today's post.

The starters were all delicious, but the best was definitely the Sea Bass Ceviche del Día. Prepared in a Hawaiian poke-esque fashion, the ceviche comes covered with a batch of other ingredients that mask the fish from sight. At first glance, I wasn't sure whether this was a ceviche, and in a way, it's not, or at least, not in the usual way most people think of ceviche. This ceviche comes adorned with plenty of citrus, Peruvian corn, toasted corn, leche del tigre, as well as seaweed and a slew of other ingredients. The overall taste is phenomenal. Each bite is filled with flavor and texture, and the citrus maintains its presence in each bite.

The Crab Causa del Día was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. The crab comes sandwiched between a cool layer of potatoes and a base of fresh avocado. The causa has a slightly sweet and spicy Huancaína sauce to bring together all three flavors. I would have preferred more avocado than potato, more of the Huancaína sauce, and, of course, more crab, but overall, the dish was still tasty and we wiped the plate clean.

The last starter we had was the Papa a la Huancaína. At this point, after having the causa, this dish seemed a little repetitive. It was nice, though, to taste more of that Huancaína sauce.

The mains had lots of pros. The only con I can think of that relates to all three dishes is that they come in huge portions. Oh wait, that's a pro. All the mains came out with an amazing side of Cauliflower Soup. The soup is creamy, a little salty, and reminiscent of a thinned out and more satisfying cream of corn. This is just another example of how cauliflower can make an excellent substitute for a lot of different starches out there.

The Lomo Saltado comes with amazingly seasoned cubes of meat, but the fries weren't the greatest. The fries tasted better, however, when we soaked up the beef sauce with them. The beef was perfectly cooked and melted in my mouth. The intense, robust flavors from the pepper and beef were balanced with the brighter red onions and cooked tomatoes.

The Arroz con Mariscos is extremely generous. With a mountain of rice and a surplus of mussels, clams, octopus, and other seafood, this dish leaves you more than satisfied. The dish had a slight taste of cayenne, without the heat, and saffron. There was also a tint of cumin in the seasoning. Whatever it is, it's delicious, and makes for some addictive rice.

The last dish we shared was the Seco de Cordero, which featured a humungous piece of lamb leg with meat that falls off the bone at the drop of a pin. The meat is gamey, and literally melts in your mouth. That said, this obviously made for the most filling and heaviest dish of the bunch. The beans and broth base didn't help with the heaviness of the dish, and the only part that helped to balance out that heaviness was a a few slices of red onions. Overall, however, it was absolutely delicious.

We passed on dessert that day, as the only one available was a tres leches cake. Needless to say, we all left feeling full, happy, and Peruvian.

Next time I go, I'll have to nab a dessert and the oxtail risotto.

3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 747-2141

GET: Ceviche del Día; Seco de Cordero.

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